Howard Martin Temin - Virologists, Life Achievements and Personal Life

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Howard Martin Temin's Personal Details

Howard Martin Temin was an American geneticist and virologist who won a share of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

InformationDetail
BirthdayDecember 10, 1934
Died onFebruary 9, 1994
NationalityAmerican
FamousGeneticists, Virologists, Scientists, Geneticists, Virologists
SpousesRayla Greenberg (m. 1962)
Birth PlacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
GenderMale
Sun SignSagittarius
Born inPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Famous asGeneticist and Virologist
Died at Age59

// Famous Virologists

Howard Martin Temin's photo

Who is Howard Martin Temin?

Howard Martin Temin was an American geneticist and virologist who won a share of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. A medical researcher, he played a major role in discovering an enzyme that is used to generate complementary DNA (cDNA) from an RNA template, a process termed reverse transcription. His discoveries helped to gain an understanding of how some cancer cells operate and later played a crucial role in identifying the AIDS virus. Born to a mother who was active in educational affairs, he was academically inclined from a young age. During his high school years, he participated in a summer program at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor which kindled his interest in biological sciences. He published his first scientific paper at the age 18 and received his bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College in 1955 majoring and minoring in biology in the honors program. After earning his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology he embarked on a career in research during the course of which he made key contributions to the study of cancer. He independently discovered reverse transcriptase which is one of the most important discoveries of the modern era of medicine. In an ironic twist of fate, the cancer researcher was himself diagnosed with the disease and succumbed to it at the age of 59.

// Famous Geneticists

Childhood & Early Life

Howard Martin Temin was born in Philadelphia on December 10, 1934, to Jewish parents. His mother, Annette Lehman, was an activist who was often involved in educational affairs and his father, Henry Temin, was an attorney. Howard had two brothers.

While he was a student at Central High School in Pennsylvania, he participated in the Jackson Laboratory's Summer Student Program in Bar Harbor where he displayed an extraordinary aptitude for science. He also spent a summer at the Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia.

He joined the Swarthmore College in 1951 and graduated in 1955 with a bachelor's degree, majoring and minoring in biology in the honors program. He then proceeded to study experimental embryology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. After several months he changed his major to animal virology, becoming a graduate student in the laboratory of Professor Renato Dulbecco.

At the institute he was greatly influenced by Professor Max Delbrück and by Dr. Matthew Meselson. Temin earned his Ph.D. degree in animal virology in 1959 and spent an addition year in Professor Dulbecco's laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow.

Career

He was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1960. It was here that he began working on the ground breaking research that led to his formulating the DNA provirus hypothesis.

Over the ensuing years he rose through the ranks, successively becoming Associate Professor, Full Professor, and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Professor of Cancer Research. He was made the American Cancer Society Professor of Viral Oncology and Cell Biology in 1974.

During the 1960s, he focused on studying the Rous sarcoma virus. His investigations on the control of multiplication of uninfected and Rous sarcoma virus-infected cells in culture led him to the discovery of reverse transcriptase (RT)—the enzyme used to generate complementary DNA (cDNA) from an RNA template.

Initially his discovery was criticized by prominent scientists as the idea of RT contradicted the central dogma of molecular biology which states that DNA is transcribed into RNA which is then translated into proteins. At around the same time, another scientist, David Baltimore, independently isolated RT from two RNA tumor viruses and the concept of RT began to gain acceptance.

For his discoveries Temin won a share of the 1975 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine. His elevated stature as an internationally respected scientist motivated him to become more active in scientific community outside of research.

In 1979, he became an advisory member for the director of the National Institute of Health (NIH). The same year he also became a member of the human gene therapy subgroup of the recombinant DNA advisory committee. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences as well.

Major Works

Temin independently discovered reverse transcriptase which is an enzyme used to generate complementary DNA (cDNA) from an RNA template through a process termed as reverse transcription. He initially faced much criticism for his idea of reverse transcription as it contradicted the central dogma of molecular biology. With time he gained recognition for this vital discovery which is today of tremendous significance to medical research.

Awards & Achievements

In 1972, he was given the NAS Award in Molecular Biology for his work leading to the discovery of reverse transcription.

Howard Martin Temin, David Baltimore, and Renato Dulbecco were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1975 "for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell."

Personal Life & Legacy

Howard Martin Temin married Rayla Greenberg, a medical geneticist, in 1962 and had two children.

He was a non-smoker and a vocal crusader against cigarettes. Ironically he became ill with adenocarcinoma, a type of lung cancer that is not linked to smoking. He remained active for as long as his health allowed him to, and breathed his last on February 9, 1994.

A walking path along Lake Mendota at UW–Madison was renamed the Howard M. Temin Path in his honor in 1998.

// Famous Geneticists

Howard Martin Temin awards

YearNameAward

Other

1972NAS Award in Molecular Biology
1992National Medal of Science for Biological Sciences
1975 - Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
1974 - Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
1974 - Gairdner Foundation International Award

Howard Martin Temin biography timelines

  • // 10th Dec 1934
    Howard Martin Temin was born in Philadelphia on December 10, 1934, to Jewish parents. His mother, Annette Lehman, was an activist who was often involved in educational affairs and his father, Henry Temin, was an attorney. Howard had two brothers.
  • // 1951 To 1955
    He joined the Swarthmore College in 1951 and graduated in 1955 with a bachelor's degree, majoring and minoring in biology in the honors program. He then proceeded to study experimental embryology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. After several months he changed his major to animal virology, becoming a graduate student in the laboratory of Professor Renato Dulbecco.
  • // 1959
    At the institute he was greatly influenced by Professor Max Delbrück and by Dr. Matthew Meselson. Temin earned his Ph.D. degree in animal virology in 1959 and spent an addition year in Professor Dulbecco's laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow.
  • // 1960
    He was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1960. It was here that he began working on the ground breaking research that led to his formulating the DNA provirus hypothesis.
  • // 1962
    Howard Martin Temin married Rayla Greenberg, a medical geneticist, in 1962 and had two children.
  • // 1972
    In 1972, he was given the NAS Award in Molecular Biology for his work leading to the discovery of reverse transcription.
  • // 1974
    Over the ensuing years he rose through the ranks, successively becoming Associate Professor, Full Professor, and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Professor of Cancer Research. He was made the American Cancer Society Professor of Viral Oncology and Cell Biology in 1974.
  • // 1975
    For his discoveries Temin won a share of the 1975 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine. His elevated stature as an internationally respected scientist motivated him to become more active in scientific community outside of research.
  • // 1975
    Howard Martin Temin, David Baltimore, and Renato Dulbecco were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1975 "for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell."
  • // 1979
    In 1979, he became an advisory member for the director of the National Institute of Health (NIH). The same year he also became a member of the human gene therapy subgroup of the recombinant DNA advisory committee. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences as well.
  • // 9th Feb 1994
    He was a non-smoker and a vocal crusader against cigarettes. Ironically he became ill with adenocarcinoma, a type of lung cancer that is not linked to smoking. He remained active for as long as his health allowed him to, and breathed his last on February 9, 1994.

// Famous Scientists

Howard Martin Temin's FAQ

  • What is Howard Martin Temin birthday?

    Howard Martin Temin was born at 1934-12-10

  • When was Howard Martin Temin died?

    Howard Martin Temin was died at 1994-02-09

  • Which age was Howard Martin Temin died?

    Howard Martin Temin was died at age 59

  • Where is Howard Martin Temin's birth place?

    Howard Martin Temin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

  • What is Howard Martin Temin nationalities?

    Howard Martin Temin's nationalities is American

  • Who is Howard Martin Temin spouses?

    Howard Martin Temin's spouses is Rayla Greenberg (m. 1962)

  • What is Howard Martin Temin's sun sign?

    Howard Martin Temin is Sagittarius

  • How famous is Howard Martin Temin?

    Howard Martin Temin is famouse as Geneticist and Virologist