Delbrück, Max Ludwig Henning

Delbrück, Max Ludwig Henning dĕlˈbrük [key], 1906–1981, American biophysicist, b. Berlin, Germany. Ph.D, Univ. of Göttingen, 1930. He spent most of his career as a professor at the California Institute of Technology. Delbrück was co-recipient of the 1969 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Alfred D. Hershey and Salvador E. Luria. The three were cited for their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and genetic structure of viruses. Working independently but collaboratively beginning in 1940, the three researchers used bacteriophages, viruses that invade bacteria and cause their disintegration, to study such fundamental life processes as self-replication and mutation. Delbrück is credited with discovering an unanticipated genetic interaction between viruses infecting the same cell, subsequently identified as genetic recombination. The work done by Delbrück, Hershey and Luria played a significant role in the subsequent development of the disciplines of molecular biology and virology.

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