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Howard Martin Temin Country, Life Achievements, Scientists - π‡π¨π°πšπ«π 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐒𝐧 π“πžπ¦π’π§ Biography
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Rayla Greenberg (m. 1962)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Male
Sagittarius
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
59
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Who is Howard Martin Temin?

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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.

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Howard Martin Temin 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 DelbrΓΌck 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.

Howard Martin Temin 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)β€”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.

Howard Martin Temin 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.

Howard Martin Temin 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."

Howard Martin Temin 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.

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Howard Martin Temin awards

  • Other

    • 1972
      NAS Award in Molecular Biology
    • 1992
      National 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
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Howard Martin Temin biography timelines

  • 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.
    10th Dec 1934
  • 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.
    1951 To 1955
  • At the institute he was greatly influenced by Professor Max DelbrΓΌck 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.
    1959
  • 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.
    1960
  • Howard Martin Temin married Rayla Greenberg, a medical geneticist, in 1962 and had two children.
    1962
  • In 1972, he was given the NAS Award in Molecular Biology for his work leading to the discovery of reverse transcription.
    1972
  • 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.
    1974
  • 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."
    1975
  • 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.
    1979
  • 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.
    9th Feb 1994
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Frequently asked questions about Howard Martin Temin

  • What is Howard Martin Temin birthday?

    Howard Martin Temin was born at December 10, 1934

  • 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

  • When was Howard Martin Temin died?

    Howard Martin Temin was died at February 9, 1994

  • Which age was Howard Martin Temin died?

    Howard Martin Temin was died at age 59