David Baltimore

David Baltimore (born March 7, 1938) is an American biologist, university administrator, and 1975 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine. He served as president of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1997 to 2006, and is currently the President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech. He also served as president of Rockefeller University from 1990 to 1991, and was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007. Baltimore has profoundly influenced international science, including key contributions to immunology, virology, cancer research, biotechnology, and recombinant DNA research, through his accomplishments as a researcher, administrator, educator, and public advocate for science and engineering. He has trained many doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, several of whom have gone on to notable and distinguished research careers. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he has received a number of awards, including the U.S. National Medal of Science in 1999. Baltimore currently sits on the Board of Sponsors[2] for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and is a consultant to the Science Philanthropy Alliance.

David Baltimore
Dr. David Baltimore2
David Baltimore in 2013
6th President of California Institute of Technology
In office
Preceded byThomas Eugene Everhart
Succeeded byJean-Lou Chameau
6th President of Rockefeller University
In office
Preceded byJoshua Lederberg
Succeeded byTorsten Wiesel
Personal details
BornMarch 7, 1938 (age 80)
New York City, New York, USA
NationalityUnited States
Alice S. Huang (m. 1968)
Alma mater
Known for
Scientific career
FieldsCell biology, microbiology
ThesisThe diversion of macromolecular synthesis in L-cells towards ends dictated by mengovirus (1964)
Doctoral advisorRichard Franklin
External video
Nobel Prize Interview with Dr. David Baltimore, 26 April 2001, Nobel Prize.org
David Baltimore: Danger from the Wild: HIV, Can We Conquer It?, iBiology

Early life and education

David Baltimore NIH
Baltimore in the 1970s

Baltimore was born on March 7, 1938 in New York City to Gertrude (Lipschitz) and Richard Baltimore. Raised in the Queens neighborhoods of Forest Hills and Rego Park, Queens, he moved with his family to suburban Great Neck, New York while he was in second grade because his mother felt that the city schools were inadequate. His father had been raised as an Orthodox Jew and his mother was an atheist, and Baltimore observed Jewish holidays and would attend synagogue with his father through his Bar Mitzvah.[3] He graduated from Great Neck North High School in 1956, and credits his interest in biology to a high-school summer spent at the Jackson Laboratory's Summer Student Program in Bar Harbor, Maine.[4][5]

Baltimore earned his Bachelor's degree with high honors at Swarthmore College in 1960.[6] He credits his interest in molecular biology to George Streisinger under whose mentorship he worked for one summer at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.[6] Baltimore's future promise was evident in his work as a graduate student when he entered MIT's graduate program in biology in 1960 with a brash and brilliant approach to learning science.[7] His early interest in phage genetics quickly yielded to a passion for animal viruses. He took the Cold Spring Harbor course on animal virology in 1961 and he moved to Richard Franklin's lab at the Rockefeller Institute at New York City which was one of the few labs pioneering molecular research on animal virology. There he made fundamental discoveries on virus replication and its effect on cell metabolism, including the first description of an RNA replicase. He completed his PhD thesis work in 1964.[8]

Career and research

After his PhD, Baltimore returned to MIT for postdoctoral research with James Darnell in 1963. He continued his work on virus replication using poliovirus and pursued training in enzymology with Jerard Hurwitz at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1964/1965.

Independent Investigator

In February, 1965, Baltimore was recruited by Renato Dulbecco to the newly established Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla as an independent research associate. There he investigated poliovirus RNA replication and began a long and storied career of mentoring other scientists' early careers including Marc Girard, and Michael Jacobson. They discovered the mechanism of proteolytic cleavage of viral polyprotein precursors,[9] pointing to the importance of proteolytic processing in the synthesis of eukaryotic proteins.[10][11] He also met his future wife, Alice Huang, who began working with Baltimore at Salk in 1967.[11][12] He and Alice together carried out key experiments on defective interfering particles and viral pseudo types. During this work, he made a key discovery that polio produced its viral proteins as a single large polyprotein that was subsequently processed into individual functional peptides.[10][11]

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Reverse transcriptase

In 1968, he was recruited by Nobel laureate Salvador Luria to the Department of Biology at MIT as an Associate Professor of Microbiology.[13] Alice S. Huang also moved to MIT to continue her research on vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). They became a couple, and married in October 1968.[12] At MIT, Huang, Baltimore, and graduate student Martha Stampfer discovered that VSV involved an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase within the virus particle, and used a novel replication strategy to replicate its RNA genome. VSV entered a host cell as a single negative strand of RNA, but brought with it RNA polymerase to stimulate the processes of transcription and replication of more RNA.[11][12][14]

Baltimore extended this work and examined two RNA tumor viruses, Rauscher murine leukemia virus and Rous sarcoma virus.[11][15] He went on to discover reverse transcriptase (RTase or RT) - the enzyme that polymerizes DNA from an RNA template. In doing so, he discovered a distinct class of viruses, later name retroviruses, that use an RNA template to catalyze synthesis of viral DNA.[16] This overturned a "central dogma" of genetic theory, the belief that genetic information flowed unidirectionally from DNA to RNA (and thence to proteins).[15][17][18] Reverse transcriptase is essential for the reproduction of retroviruses, allowing such viruses to turn viral RNA strands into viral DNA strands. The viruses that fall into this category include HIV.[12][16]

The discovery of reverse transcriptase, made contemporaneously with Howard Temin, who had proposed the provirus hypothesis, overturned the central dogma of molecular biology by showing that genetic information could traffic bidirectionally between DNA and RNA. They published these findings in back-to-back papers in the prestigious journal, Nature.[19][20] This discovery was heralded as evidence that molecular and virological approaches to understanding cancer would yield new cures for the dreaded disease. This may have influenced President Richard Nixon's War on Cancer which was launched in 1971 and substantially increased research funding for the disease. In 1972, at the age of 34, Baltimore was awarded tenure as a Professor of Biology at MIT, a post that he held until 1997. In 1975, at the age of 37, Baltimore shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Howard Temin and Renato Dulbecco. The citation reads, "for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell."[21] At the time, Baltimore's greatest contribution to virology was his discovery of reverse transcriptase.

Asilomar conference on recombinant DNA

Baltimore also helped Paul Berg and Maxine Singer to organize the Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, held in February 1975. The conference discussed possible dangers of new biotechnology, drew up voluntary safety guidelines, and issued a call for an ongoing moratorium on certain types of experiments and review of possible experiments.[3] Baltimore was well aware of the importance of the changes occurring in the laboratory: "The whole Asilomar process opened up to the world that modern biology had new powers that you had never conceived of before."[7]:111

MIT Cancer Center

After winning the Nobel Prize, Baltimore reorganized his laboratory, refocusing on immunology and virology, with immunoglobulin gene expression as a major area of interest. In 1973, he was awarded a prestigious American Cancer Society Professor of Microbiology that provided substantial salary support. Also in 1973, he became one of the early faculty members in the newly organized MIT Center for Cancer capping a creative and industrious period of his career with nearly fifty research publications including the paradigm-shifting paper on reverse transcriptase. The MIT CRC was led by Salvador E. Luria and quickly achieved pre-eminence with a remarkable group of faculty including Baltimore, Phillips Robbins, Herman Eisen, Philip Sharp, and Robert Weinberg, who all went on to illustrious research careers.[13] Baltimore was honored as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1974.[6] He returned to New York City in 1975, for a year-long sabbatical at Rockefeller University working with Jim Darnell. In 1975, at the age of 37, he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Howard Temin and Renato Dulbecco. The citation reads, "for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell."[21] At the time, Baltimore's greatest contribution to virology was his discovery of reverse transcriptase (Rtase or RT) which is essential for the reproduction of retroviruses such as HIV and was discovered independently, and at about the same time, by Mizutani and Temin.[10] Following this, his lab and intellectual interests expanded tackling new problems such as the pathogenesis of Abelson murine leukemia virus (AMuLV), lymphocyte differentiation and related topic in immunology. In 1980, his group isolated the oncogene in AMuLV and showed it was a member of a new class of protein kinases that used the amino acid tyrosine as a phosphoacceptor.[22] This type of enzymatic activity was also discovered by Tony Hunter, who has done extensive work in the area. He also continued to pursue fundamental questions in RNA viruses and in 1981, Baltimore and Vincent Racaniello, a post-doctoral fellow in his laboratory, used recombinant DNA technology to generate a plasmid encoding the genome of poliovirus, an animal RNA virus.[9] The plasmid DNA was introduced into cultured mammalian cells and infectious poliovirus was produced. The infectious clone, DNA encoding the genome of a virus, is a standard tool used today in virology.

Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research

In 1982, with a charitable donation by businessman and philanthropist Edwin C. "Jack" Whitehead, Baltimore was asked to help establish a self-governed research institute dedicated to basic biomedical research.[23] They devised a unique structure of an independent research institute composed of "members" with a close relationship with the Department of Biology of MIT. The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (WIBR) was launched with $35 million to construct and equip a new building located across the street from the MIT cancer center in Cambridge Massachusetts. The institute also received $5 million per year in guaranteed income and a substantial endowment in his will (for a total gift of $135 million). Under Baltimore's leadership, a distinguished group of founding members including Gerald Fink, Rudolf Jaenisch, Harvey Lodish, and Robert Weinberg was assembled and eventually grew to 20 members in disciplines ranging from immunology, genetics, and oncology to fundamental developmental studies in mice and fruit flies.[24] Whitehead Institute's contributions to bioscience have long been second to none. Less than a decade after its founding with continued leadership by Baltimore, the Whitehead Institute was named the top research institution in the world in molecular biology and genetics, and over a recent 10-year period, papers published by Whitehead scientists were the most cited papers of any biological research institute.

After establishing the Institute in a beautiful newly constructed research building across the street from the MIT cancer center, he served as Director of the WIBR serving to expand the faculty and research areas into key areas of research including mouse and drosophila genetics. The Whitehead Institute has been rated as doing "World leading research in genetics and molecular biology",[25] and was an important partner in the Human Genome Project.[26]

During this time, Baltimore's own research program thrived in the new Institute. Important breakthroughs from Baltimore's lab include the discovery of the key transcription factor NF-κB by Dr. Ranjan Sen and David Baltimore in 1986.[27] Their intention was to identify nuclear factors required for lg gene expression in B lymphocytes. What they discovered, NF-κB, turned out to have much broader importance. NF-κB is involved in regulating cellular responses and belongs to the category of "rapid-acting" primary transcription factors. Their discovery led to an "information explosion" involving "one of the most intensely studied signaling paradigms of the last two decades."[28]

As early as 1984, Rudolf Grosschedl and David Weaver, postdoctoral fellows, in Baltimore's laboratory, were experimenting with the creation of transgenic mice as a model for the study of disease. They suggested that "control of lg gene rearrangement might be the only mechanism that determines the specificity of heavy chain gene expression within the lymphoid cell lineage."[29] in 1987, they created transgenic mice with the fused gene that developed fatal leukemia.

David G. Schatz and Marjorie Oettinger, as students in Baltimore's research group in 1988 and 1989, identified the protein pair that rearranges immunoglobulin genes, the recombination-activating gene RAG-1 and RAG-2.[30] this was a key discovery in determining how the immune system can have specificity for a given molecule out of many possibilities,[31] and was considered by Baltimore as of 2005 to be "our most significant discovery in immunology".[6]:Addendum, May 2005

In 1990, as a student in David Baltimore's laboratory at MIT, George Q. Daley demonstrated that a fusion protein called bcr-abl is sufficient to stimulate cell growth and cause chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). This work helped to identify a class of proteins that become hyperactive in specific types of cancer cells. It helped to lay the groundwork for a new type of drug, attacking cancer at the genetic level: Brian Druker's development of the anti-cancer drug Imatinib (Gleevec), which deactivates bcr-abl proteins. Gleevec has shown impressive results in treating chronic myelogenous leukemia and also promise in treating gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST).[32][33][34]

Rockefeller University

Baltimore served as the Director of the Whitehead Institute until July 1, 1990 when he was appointed the sixth President of Rockefeller University in New York City. He moved his research group to New York and continued to make creative contributions to virology and cellular regulation. He also began important reforms in faculty management and promoted the status of junior faculty at the University. After resigning on December 3, 1991, Baltimore remained on the Rockefeller University faculty and continued research until spring of 1994. He then rejoined the MIT faculty as the Ivan R. Cottrell Professor of Molecular Biology and Immunology.

California Institute of Technology

David Baltimore 2006
From left: JPL Director Charles Elachi, La Canada-Flintridge Mayor Greg Brown, Baltimore and JPL Deputy Director Eugene Tattini (2006).

On May 13, 1997, Baltimore was appointed president of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).[35][36][37][38][39] He began serving in the office 15 October 1997 and was inaugurated 9 March 1998.[40]

During Baltimore's tenure at Caltech, United States President Bill Clinton awarded Baltimore the National Medal of Science in 1999 for his numerous contributions to the scientific world. In 2004, Rockefeller University gave Baltimore its highest honor, Doctor of Science (honoris causa).[41]

In October 2005, Baltimore resigned the office of the president at Caltech[42] (see Luk van Parijs case). Former Georgia Tech Provost Jean-Lou Chameau succeeded Baltimore as president of Caltech.[43] Baltimore remains the Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech and is an active member of the Institute's community.[44]

His laboratory at Caltech is focused on two major research areas: understanding the mammalian immune system and creating viral vectors to make the immune system more effective in resisting cancer. Understanding the diverse activity of the NF-κB transcription factor is one focus. NF-κB is now known to activate as many as 1000 genes in response to various stimuli. It is also known to play different roles in different cells.[44]

Another focus is understanding the functions of microRNA. MicroRNAs provide fine control over gene expression by regulating the amount of protein made by particular messenger RNAs.[44] In recent research led by Jimmy Zhao, Baltimore's team has discovered a small RNA molecule called microRNA-146a (miR-146a) and bred a strain of mice that lacks miR146a. They have used the miR146a(-) mice as a model to study the effects of chronic inflammation on the activity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Their results suggest that microRNA-146a protects HSCs during chronic inflammation, and that its lack may contribute to blood cancers and bone marrow failure.[45]

Public policy

Baltimore recently joined with other scientists to call for a worldwide moratorium on use of a new genome-editing technique to alter inheritable human DNA.[46] A key step enabling researchers to slice up any DNA sequence they choose was developed by Emmanuelle Charpentier, then at Umea University in Sweden, and Jennifer A. Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley.[47] Reminiscent of the Asilomar conference on recombinant DNA in 1975, those involved want both scientists and the public to be more aware of the ethical issues and risks involved with new techniques for genome modification.[46]

In addition to his influence on public policy for recombinant DNA research, Baltimore has influenced national policy concerning the AIDS epidemic. In 1986, he and Sheldon M. Wolff were invited by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine to coauthor an independent report: Confronting AIDS (1986), in which they called for a $1 billion research program for HIV/AIDS.[3][48] As of 1996 he was appointed head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) AIDS Vaccine Research Committee (AVRC).[49]

Baltimore is a member of the National Academy of Sciences USA (NAS), 1974;[50] the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1974; the NAS Institute of Medicine (IOM), 1974;[51] the American Association of Immunologists, 1984.[52] He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1987;[53][54] the French Academy of Sciences, 2000;[55] and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).[51] He is also a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 1978.[56] In 2006 Baltimore was elected to a three-year term as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).[51]

Baltimore is a member of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Advisory Board[57] and an Xconomist (an editorial advisor for the tech news and media company, Xconomy).[58] Baltimore also serves on The Jackson Laboratory's board of trustees,[59] the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Board of Sponsors,[60] Amgen, Inc.'s board of directors,[61] and numerous other organizations and their boards.


Imanishi-Kari case

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Thereza Imanishi-Kari, a scientist who was not in Baltimore's laboratory but in a separate, independent laboratory at MIT, was implicated in a case of scientific fraud. The case received extensive news coverage and a Congressional investigation. The case was linked to Baltimore's name because of his scientific collaboration with and later his strong defense of Imanishi-Kari against accusations of fraud.

In 1986, while a Professor of Biology at MIT and Director at Whitehead, Baltimore co-authored a scientific paper on immunology with Thereza Imanishi-Kari (an Assistant Professor of Biology who had her own laboratory at MIT) as well as four others.[62] A postdoctoral fellow in Imanishi-Kari's laboratory, Margot O'Toole, who was not an author, reported concerns about the paper, ultimately accusing Imanishi-Kari of fabricating data in a cover-up. Baltimore, however, refused to retract the paper.

O'Toole soon dropped her challenge, but the NIH, which had funded the contested paper's research, began investigating, at the insistence of Walter W. Stewart, a self-appointed fraud buster, and Ned Feder, his lab head at the NIH.[63] Representative John Dingell (D-MI) also aggressively pursued it, eventually calling in U.S. Secret Service (USSS; U.S. Treasury) document examiners.[64]

Around October 1989, when Baltimore was appointed president of Rockefeller University, around a third of the faculty opposed his appointment because of concerns about his behaviour in the Imanishi-Kari case. He visited every laboratory, one by one, to hear those concerns directly from each group of researchers.[63]

In a draft report dated March 14, 1991 and based mainly on USSS forensics findings, NIH's fraud unit, then called the Office of Scientific Integrity (OSI), accused Imanishi-Kari of falsifying and fabricating data. It also criticized Baltimore for failing to embrace O'Toole's challenge. Less than a week later, the report was leaked to the press.[65] Baltimore and three co-authors then retracted the paper; Imanishi-Kari and Moema H. Reis did not sign the retraction.[66] In the report, Baltimore admitted that he was "too willing to accept" Imanishi-Kari's explanations, and felt he "did too little to seek an independent verification of her data and conclusions."[67] Baltimore publicly apologized for not taking a whistle-blower's charge seriously.[68]

Amid concerns raised by negative publicity in connection with the scandal, Baltimore resigned as president of Rockefeller University[69] and rejoined the MIT Biology faculty.[70]

In July 1992, the US Attorney for the District of Maryland, who had been investigating the case, announced he would bring neither criminal nor civil charges against Imanishi-Kari.[71][72] In October 1994, however, OSI's successor, the Office of Research Integrity (ORI; HHS) found Imanishi-Kari guilty on 19 counts of research misconduct, basing its conclusions largely on Secret Service analysis of laboratory notebooks.

An HHS appeals panel began meeting in June 1995 to review all charges in detail. In June 1996, the panel ruled that the ORI had failed to prove even one of its 19 charges. After throwing out much of the documentary evidence gathered by the ORI, the panel dismissed all charges against Imanishi-Kari. As their final report stated, the HHS panel "found that much of what ORI presented was irrelevant, had limited probative value, was internally inconsistent, lacked reliability or foundation, was not credible or not corroborated, or was based on unwarranted assumptions." It did conclude that "The Cell paper as a whole is rife with errors of all sorts ... [including] some which, despite all these years and layers of review, have never previously been pointed out or corrected. Responsibility ... must be shared by all participants." Neither OSI nor ORI ever accused Baltimore of research misconduct.[73][74] The reputations of Stewart and Feder, who had pushed for the investigation, were very damaged.[74]

Baltimore has been both defended and criticized for his actions in this matter.[75][76][77][78][79][80][81] In 1993, Yale University mathematician Serge Lang strongly criticized Baltimore's behavior.[82] Historian of science Daniel Kevles, writing after the exoneration of Imanishi-Kari, recounted the affair in his 1998 book, The Baltimore Case.[83][84] Horace Freeland Judson also gives a critical assessment of Baltimore's actions in The Great Betrayal: Fraud In Science.[85] Baltimore has also written his own analysis.[86]

Luk van Parijs case

In October 2005, Baltimore resigned the office of the president of Caltech,[42] saying, "This is not a decision that I have made easily, but I am convinced that the interests of the Institute will be best served by a presidential transition at this particular time in its history..."[87] Soon after, at Baltimore's request, Caltech began investigating the work Luk van Parijs had conducted while a postdoc in Baltimore's laboratory.[88] Van Parijs first came under suspicion at MIT, for work done after he had left Baltimore's lab. After van Parijs had been fired by MIT, his doctoral supervisor also noted problems with work van Parijs did at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, before leaving Harvard to go to Baltimore's lab.[89] Concluding in March 2007, the Caltech investigation found van Parijs alone committed research misconduct and that four papers co-authored by Baltimore, van Parijs, and others required correction.[90]

Awards and honors

Personal life

Baltimore was married in 1968 to Dr. Alice S. Huang. They have one daughter.[92]

See also


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  2. ^ "Board of Sponsors". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Rachel Bronson.
  3. ^ a b c David Baltimore - Interviewed by Sara Lippincott; October - November 2009, California Institute of Technology. Accessed February 21, 2013. "But she was also committed to her family and to my father's right to have his religion, and we celebrated the major holidays, we fasted on Yom Kippur, and I walked with my father to the shul, which was a long walk from where we lived."
  4. ^ Nobel Prize autobiography. Nobelprize.org (1938-03-07). Retrieved on 2012-02-17.
  5. ^ Kerr, Kathleen. "They Began Here" Archived 2008-06-09 at the Wayback Machine, Newsday. Accessed 23 Oct 2007. "David Baltimore, 1975 Nobel laureate and one of the nation's best-known scientists, is a good case in point. The 60-year-old Baltimore, who graduated from Great Neck High School in 1956..."
  6. ^ a b c d "David Baltimore - Biographical". Nobel Prize.org. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
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  10. ^ a b c Schlesinger, Sondra (29 April 1995). David Baltimore, Transcript of Three Interviews Conducted by Sondra Schlesinger at New York City, New York; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Boston, Massachusetts on 7 February 1994, 13 April 1995, 29 April 1995 (PDF). Philadelphia, PA: Chemical Heritage Foundation.
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  29. ^ Grosschedl, R; Weaver, D; Baltimore, D; Costantini, F (October 1984). "Introduction of a mu immunoglobulin gene into the mouse germ line: specific expression in lymphoid cells and synthesis of functional antibody". Cell. 38 (3): 647–58. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(84)90259-9. PMID 6091894.
  30. ^ Schatz, DG; Oettinger, MA; Baltimore, D (1 January 2008). "Pillars article: the V(D)J recombination activating gene, RAG-1. 1989". Journal of Immunology. 180 (1): 5–18. PMID 18096996. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
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  38. ^ "A Luminary of Science for Caltech's Presidency; Nobelist Baltimore has the needed background and clout." LA Times, 15 May 1997, p. B8
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  65. ^ Philip J. Hilts, "Crucial Data Were Fabricated In Report Signed by Top Biologist" (New York Times, 21 March 1991, pp. A1, B10)
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  67. ^ Foreman, Judy (May 6, 1991). "Fraud charge leaves a career in shambles Friends contend Thereza imanish-Kari is the victim of a `travesty,' but others say alligations are no surprise". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  68. ^ Knudson, Mary (August 2, 1991). "Health institutes chief gets pointed questions on misconduct cases". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  69. ^ Hall SS (December 1991). "David Baltimore's final days". Science. 254 (5038): 1576–9. Bibcode:1991Sci...254.1576H. doi:10.1126/science.1749930. PMID 1749930. or here [1]
  70. ^ Natalie Angier, "Embattled Biologist Will Return to M.I.T." (New York Times, 19 May 1992, P. C5)
  71. ^ Malcolm Gladwell, "Prosecutors Halt Scientific Fraud Probe; Researcher Baltimore Claims Vindication, Plans to 'Unretract' Paper" (Washington Post, 14 July 1992, P. A3);
  72. ^ Hamilton DP (July 1992). "U.S. attorney decides not to prosecute Imanishi-Kari". Science. 257 (5068): 318. Bibcode:1992Sci...257..318H. doi:10.1126/science.1321499. PMID 1321499.
  73. ^ "Thereza Imanishi-Kari, Ph.D., DAB No. 1582 (1996) Department of Health and Human Services Departmental Appeals Board RESEARCH INTEGRITY ADJUDICATIONS PANEL SUBJECT: Thereza Imanishi-Kari, Ph.D. Docket No. A-95-33 Decision No. 1582". HHS.gov. Department of Health and Human Services. June 21, 1996. HHS report exonerating Imanishi-Kari.
  74. ^ a b Warsh, David (June 30, 1996). "The fortune that never was". Boston Globe. The public skirmish over the reputations of Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor David Baltimore and Tufts University researcher Thereza Imanishi-Kari has been formally ended by a report deeply embarrassing to the government
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  81. ^ "Ahead of the Curve: David Baltimore's Life in Science". Book Review. Nature Medicine. 7 (7): 767. 2001. doi:10.1038/89868.
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External links

  1. Baltimore D (June 1970). "RNA-dependent DNA polymerase in virions of RNA tumour viruses". Nature. 226 (5252): 1209–11. Bibcode:1970Natur.226.1209B. doi:10.1038/2261209a0. PMID 4316300.
  2. Temin HM, Mizutani S (June 1970). "RNA-dependent DNA polymerase in virions of Rous sarcoma virus". Nature. 226 (5252): 1211–3. Bibcode:1970Natur.226.1211T. doi:10.1038/2261211a0. PMID 4316301.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Joshua Lederberg
President of Rockefeller University
1990 – 1991
Succeeded by
Torsten Wiesel
Preceded by
Thomas Eugene Everhart
President of the California Institute of Technology
1997 – 2005
Succeeded by
Jean-Lou Chameau
Alice S. Huang

Alice S. Huang (simplified Chinese: 黄诗厚; traditional Chinese: 黃詩厚; pinyin: Huáng Shīhòu; Wade–Giles: Huang Shih-hou; is an American biologist specialized in microbiology and virology. She is Senior Faculty Associate in Biology at the California Institute of Technology, and served as President of AAAS during the 2010-2011 term.


In biology and immunology, an Alphavirus belongs to group IV of the Baltimore classification of the Togaviridae family of viruses, according to the system of classification based on viral genome composition introduced by David Baltimore in 1971. Alphaviruses, like all other group IV viruses, have a positive sense, single-stranded RNA genome. There are thirty alphaviruses able to infect various vertebrates such as humans, rodents, fish, birds, and larger mammals such as horses as well as invertebrates. Transmission between species and individuals occurs mainly via mosquitoes, making the alphaviruses a member of the collection of arboviruses – or arthropod-borne viruses. Alphavirus particles are enveloped, have a 70 nm diameter, tend to be spherical (although slightly pleomorphic), and have a 40 nm isometric nucleocapsid.

Baltimore classification

The Baltimore classification, developed by David Baltimore, is a virus classification system that groups viruses into families, depending on their type of genome (DNA, RNA, single-stranded (ss), double-stranded (ds), etc..) and their method of replication.

California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private doctorate-granting research university in Pasadena, California. Known for its strength in natural science and engineering, Caltech is often ranked as one of the world's top-ten universities.Although founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891, the college attracted influential scientists such as George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910 and the college assumed its present name in 1921. In 1934, Caltech was elected to the Association of American Universities and the antecedents of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech continues to manage and operate, were established between 1936 and 1943 under Theodore von Kármán. The university is one among a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is primarily devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.

Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphasis on science and engineering, managing $332 million in 2011 in sponsored research. Its 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus is located approximately 11 mi (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. First-year students are required to live on campus and 95% of undergraduates remain in the on-campus House System at Caltech. Although Caltech has a strong tradition of practical jokes and pranks, student life is governed by an honor code which allows faculty to assign take-home examinations. The Caltech Beavers compete in 13 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division III's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

As of October 2018, Caltech alumni, faculty and researchers include 73 Nobel Laureates (chemist Linus Pauling being the only individual in history to win two unshared prizes), 4 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners. In addition, there are 53 non-emeritus faculty members (as well as many emeritus faculty members) who have been elected to one of the United States National Academies, 4 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force and 71 have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology. Numerous faculty members are associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as NASA. According to a 2015 Pomona College study, Caltech ranked number one in the U.S. for the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a PhD.

Howard Martin Temin

Howard Martin Temin (December 10, 1934 – February 9, 1994) was a US geneticist and virologist. He discovered reverse transcriptase in the 1970s at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, for which he shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Renato Dulbecco and David Baltimore.

Jacques Benveniste

Jacques Benveniste (French: [bɛnvənist]; 12 March 1935 – 3 October 2004) was a French immunologist, born in Paris. In 1979 he published a well-known paper on the structure of platelet-activating factor and its relationship with histamine. He was head of INSERM's Unit 200, directed at immunology, allergy and inflammation.

Benveniste was at the centre of a major international controversy in 1988, when he published a paper in the prestigious scientific journal Nature describing the action of very high dilutions of anti-IgE antibody on the degranulation of human basophils, findings which seemed to support the concept of homeopathy. Biologists were puzzled by Benveniste's results, as only molecules of water, and no molecules of the original antibody, remained in these high dilutions. Benveniste concluded that the configuration of molecules in water was biologically active; a journalist coined the term water memory for this hypothesis. Much later, in the nineties, Benveniste also asserted that this "memory" could be digitized, transmitted, and reinserted into another sample of water, which would then contain the same active qualities as the first sample.

As a condition for publication, Nature asked for the results to be replicated by independent laboratories. The controversial paper published in Nature was eventually co-authored by four laboratories worldwide, in Canada, Italy, Israel, and France. After the article was published, a follow-up investigation was set up by a team including physicist and Nature editor John Maddox, illusionist and well-known skeptic James Randi, as well as fraud expert Walter Stewart who had recently raised suspicion of the work of Nobel Laureate David Baltimore. With the cooperation of Benveniste's own team, the group failed to replicate the original results, and subsequent investigations did not support Benveniste's findings either. Benveniste refused to retract his controversial article, and he explained (notably in letters to Nature) that the protocol used in these investigations was not identical to his own. However, his reputation was damaged, so he began to fund his research himself as his external sources of funding were withdrawn. In 1997, he founded the company DigiBio to "develop and commercialise applications of Digital Biology."

Benveniste died in 2004 in Paris.

John Dingell

John David Dingell Jr. (July 8, 1926 – February 7, 2019) was an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1955 until 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, he holds the record for longest-ever serving Congressperson in American history, representing Michigan for more than 59 years. He most recently served as the representative for Michigan's 12th congressional district. A longtime member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Dingell was a powerful chairman of the committee from 1981 to 1995 and 2007 to 2009.Dingell began his congressional career by succeeding his father, John Dingell Sr., as representative for Michigan's 16th congressional district on December 13, 1955; his father had held the seat for 22 years. He left office on January 3, 2015. Having served for over 59 years, he has the longest congressional tenure in U.S. history. He was also the longest-serving Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives and Dean of the Michigan congressional delegation. Dingell was one of the final two World War II veterans to have served in Congress; the other is Texas Representative Ralph Hall, who also left Congress in 2015. During his time in Congress in addition to protecting the automobile industry important to his district, Dingell was instrumental in passage of the Medicare Act, the Water Quality Act of 1965, Clean Water Act of 1972, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Clean Air Act of 1990, and the Affordable Care Act, among others. He was most proud of his work on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.Dingell announced on February 24, 2014, that he would not seek reelection to a 31st term in Congress. His wife, Debbie Dingell, ran to succeed her husband and defeated Republican Terry Bowman in the general election on November 4, 2014. He was the last member of Congress who had served in the 1950s and during the presidencies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.

Jonathan Lunine

Jonathan I. Lunine (born June 26, 1959) is an American planetary scientist and physicist. Lunine teaches at Cornell University, where he is the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences and Director of the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research. Having published more than 300 research papers, Lunine is at the forefront of research into planet formation, evolution, and habitability. His work includes analysis of brown dwarfs, gas giants, and planetary satellites. Within the Solar System, bodies with potential organic chemistry and prebiotic conditions, particularly Saturn's moon Titan, have been the focus of Lunine's research.Lunine is the David Baltimore Distinguished Visiting Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is an interdisciplinary scientist on the Cassini mission to Saturn, and on the James Webb Space Telescope, as well as co-investigator on the Juno mission launched in 2011 to Jupiter. He is the Principal Investigator of a proposed astrobiology mission to Enceladus called Enceladus Life Finder.Lunine is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union, and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, which gave him its Basic Science Award in 2009. In 2015 he was awarded the Jean Dominique Cassini medal of the European Geosciences Union. He earned a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Rochester in 1980, followed by M.S. (1983) and Ph.D. (1985) degrees in Planetary Science from the California Institute of Technology.Lunine was raised Jewish, but is a convert to Catholicism who helped found the Society of Catholic Scientists. He also delivered a lecture on Georges Lemaître.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1987

This is a list of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1987.

McArdle Laboratory

The McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research is a basic cancer research facility located on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus in Madison, Wisconsin. It houses the university's Department of Oncology . The staff of the McArdle Laboratory numbers approximately 200. Twenty-eight faculty members lead research groups focused on various fields such as cancer virology, signal transduction, cell cycle, cancer genetics, and carcinogenesis.Peer-reviewed grants awarded on a competitive basis by agencies such as the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, American Cancer Society, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure provide the major source of research funds for the McArdle Laboratory. A small percentage of McArdle’s operating budget is provided by the State of Wisconsin. Private donations and bequests made directly to the McArdle Laboratory play a vital role in the support of the research carried out at the Laboratory.

Founding faculty Harold P. Rusch, Roswell Boutwell, Charles Heidelberger, Elizabeth and James Miller, Gerald C. Mueller, and Van Rensselaer Potter helped to establish the international reputation of the McArdle Laboratory and to build the strong foundation of basic cancer research on the University of Wisconsin campus. The former and current staff include recipients of the Bristol Myers Award in Cancer Research; members of the National Academy of Sciences; past presidents of the American Association for Cancer Research; recipients of the American Cancer Society Research Professor and Junior Faculty Research Awards; and members of the National Cancer Advisory Board and the President’s Cancer Panel. Howard M. Temin (1934-1994) received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (shared with David Baltimore and Renato Dulbecco) in 1975 while a member of the faculty at the McArdle Laboratory.

The training of young scientists for careers in cancer research has been an important aspect of the McArdle Laboratory since its beginning. The McArdle Laboratory was the first cancer research institution in the country to grant a Ph.D. degree in Oncology. The graduate program, now called Cancer Biology, is one of the few programs in the world devoted specifically to cancer research. Over 1400 men and women have received training at the pre- and postdoctoral level at the McArdle Laboratory. Alumni hold research and teaching positions at universities, research institutes, governmental agencies, and in industry around the world. McArdle alum Günter Blobel received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1999 for "the discovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell".

Outline of biotechnology

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to biotechnology:

Biotechnology – field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purposes.


Poliovirus, the causative agent of poliomyelitis (commonly known as polio), is a member virus of Enterovirus C, in the family of Picornaviridae.Poliovirus is composed of an RNA genome and a protein capsid. The genome is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome that is about 7500 nucleotides long. The viral particle is about 30 nm in diameter with icosahedral symmetry. Because of its short genome and its simple composition—only RNA and a nonenveloped icosahedral protein coat that encapsulates it, poliovirus is widely regarded as the simplest significant virus.Poliovirus was first isolated in 1909 by Karl Landsteiner and Erwin Popper. In 1981, the poliovirus genome was published by two different teams of researchers: by Vincent Racaniello and David Baltimore at MIT and by Naomi Kitamura and Eckard Wimmer at Stony Brook University. Poliovirus is one of the most well-characterized viruses, and has become a useful model system for understanding the biology of RNA viruses.

Renato Dulbecco

Renato Dulbecco (February 22, 1914 – February 19, 2012) was an Italian American, who won the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on oncoviruses, which are viruses that can cause cancer when they infect animal cells. He studied at the University of Turin under Giuseppe Levi, along with fellow students Salvador Luria and Rita Levi-Montalcini, who also moved to the U.S. with him and won Nobel prizes. He was drafted into the Italian army in World War II, but later joined the resistance.

Reverse transcriptase

A reverse transcriptase (RT) is an enzyme used to generate complementary DNA (cDNA) from an RNA template, a process termed reverse transcription. Reverse transcriptases are used by retroviruses to replicate their genomes, by retrotransposon mobile genetic elements to proliferate within the host genome, by eukaryotic cells to extend the telomeres at the ends of their linear chromosomes, and by some non-retroviruses such as the hepatitis B virus, a member of the Hepadnaviridae, which are dsDNA-RT viruses.

Retroviral RT has three sequential biochemical activities: RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity, ribonuclease H, and DNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity. Collectively, these activities enable the enzyme to convert single-stranded RNA into double-stranded cDNA. In retroviruses and retrotransposons, this cDNA can then integrate into the host genome, from which new RNA copies can be made via host-cell transcription. The same sequence of reactions is widely used in the laboratory to convert RNA to DNA for use in molecular cloning, RNA sequencing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or genome analysis.

Rockefeller University

The Rockefeller University is a center for scientific research, primarily in the biological and medical sciences, that provides doctoral and postdoctoral education. Rockefeller is the oldest biomedical research institute in the United States. The 82-person faculty (tenured and tenure-track, as of 2018) has 37 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, seven Lasker Award recipients, and five Nobel laureates. As of 2017, a total of 36 Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Rockefeller University.

The university is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, between 63rd and 68th streets on York Avenue. Richard P. Lifton became the university's eleventh president on September 1, 2016. The Rockefeller University Press publishes the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the Journal of Cell Biology, and The Journal of General Physiology.

Thereza Imanishi-Kari

Thereza Imanishi-Kari is an associate professor of pathology at Tufts University. Her research focuses on the origins of autoimmune diseases, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus, studied using mice as model organisms. Previously she had been a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is notable for her role in what became known as the "Baltimore affair", in which a 1986 paper she co-authored with David Baltimore was the subject of research misconduct allegations. Following a series of investigations, she was fully exonerated of the charges in 1996.


A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.Since Dmitri Ivanovsky's 1892 article describing a non-bacterial pathogen infecting tobacco plants, and the discovery of the tobacco mosaic virus by Martinus Beijerinck in 1898, about 5,000 virus species have been described in detail, although there are millions of types. Viruses are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth and are the most numerous type of biological entity. The study of viruses is known as virology, a sub-speciality of microbiology.

While not inside an infected cell or in the process of infecting a cell, viruses exist in the form of independent particles. These viral particles, also known as virions, consist of: (i) the genetic material made from either DNA or RNA, long molecules that carry genetic information; (ii) a protein coat, called the capsid, which surrounds and protects the genetic material; and in some cases (iii) an envelope of lipids that surrounds the protein coat. The shapes of these virus particles range from simple helical and icosahedral forms for some virus species to more complex structures for others. Most virus species have virions that are too small to be seen with an optical microscope. The average virion is about one one-hundredth the size of the average bacterium.

The origins of viruses in the evolutionary history of life are unclear: some may have evolved from plasmids—pieces of DNA that can move between cells—while others may have evolved from bacteria. In evolution, viruses are an important means of horizontal gene transfer, which increases genetic diversity. Viruses are considered by some to be a life form, because they carry genetic material, reproduce, and evolve through natural selection, but lack key characteristics (such as cell structure) that are generally considered necessary to count as life. Because they possess some but not all such qualities, viruses have been described as "organisms at the edge of life", and as replicators.Viruses spread in many ways; viruses in plants are often transmitted from plant to plant by insects that feed on plant sap, such as aphids; viruses in animals can be carried by blood-sucking insects. These disease-bearing organisms are known as vectors. Influenza viruses are spread by coughing and sneezing. Norovirus and rotavirus, common causes of viral gastroenteritis, are transmitted by the faecal–oral route and are passed from person to person by contact, entering the body in food or water. HIV is one of several viruses transmitted through sexual contact and by exposure to infected blood. The variety of host cells that a virus can infect is called its "host range". This can be narrow, meaning a virus is capable of infecting few species, or broad, meaning it is capable of infecting many.Viral infections in animals provoke an immune response that usually eliminates the infecting virus. Immune responses can also be produced by vaccines, which confer an artificially acquired immunity to the specific viral infection. Some viruses, including those that cause AIDS and viral hepatitis, evade these immune responses and result in chronic infections. Several antiviral drugs have been developed.

Virus classification

Virus classification is the process of naming viruses and placing them into a taxonomic system. Similar to the classification systems used for cellular organisms, virus classification is the subject of ongoing debate and proposals. This is mainly due to the pseudo-living nature of viruses, which is to say they are non-living particles with some chemical characteristics similar to those of life, or non-cellular life. As such, they do not fit neatly into the established biological classification system in place for cellular organisms.

Viruses are mainly classified by phenotypic characteristics, such as morphology, nucleic acid type, mode of replication, host organisms, and the type of disease they cause. The formal taxonomic classification of viruses is the responsibility of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) system, although the Baltimore classification system can be used to place viruses into one of seven groups based on their manner of mRNA synthesis. Specific naming conventions and further classification guidelines are set out by the ICTV.

A catalogue of all the world's known viruses has been proposed; some related preliminary efforts have been accomplished.

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