Luria, Salvador Edward, 1912–1991, American physician, b. Turin, Italy, M.D., Univ. of Turin, 1935. He conducted research and taught at the Institute of Radium in Paris (1938–40), Columbia (1940–42), Indiana Univ. (1943–50), and the Univ. of Illinois (1950–59) before joining the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1959. In 1969 Luria, Max Delbrück, and Alfred Hershey were awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for uncovering new information about the replication mechanism and genetic structure of viruses. Beginning in 1940, the researchers, working in parallel, became interested in using bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) to study such fundamental life processes as self-replication and mutation. Luria conducted experiments that supported Delbrück's finding that radiation-induced genetic damage in bacteriophages could be repaired by gene exchange. The collective work of these three scientists contributed substantially to the discipline of virology and to the progress of molecular biology.
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