© The Nobel Foundation
Howard Martin Temin

American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

Howard Martin Temin:
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Recipient-1975

by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Howard Martin Temin was an American Jewish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, in 1975, which he shared with David Baltimore and Renato Dulbecco for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell.

He was born on December 19, 1934, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Annnette and Henry Temin. His father was an attorney and his mother was involved in civic affairs. Howard had two brothers: Michael was the oldest and was an attorney and the youngest brother, Peter, was the Elisha Gray Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He received his education in the elementary schools and high school in Philadelphia. He earned his B.S. Degree, with honors, in biology at Swarthmore College (1951-1955.) He entered the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. He changed his major to animal virology, under the tutelage of Professor Renato Dulbecco. He received his Ph.D. in 1959.

He married Rayla Greenberg, a population geneticist, in 1962 and they had two daughters, Sarah Beth and Miriam.

In 1960, Temin became an assistant Professor in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, which was in the Department of Oncology, of the Medical School, of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. It was here that he did experiments that led to formulate the DNA virus hypothesis, in 1964.

Howard M. Temin received many awards and honors for his work:
• The Warren Trennial Prize (with David Baltimore)
• The Pap Award of the Papanicolaou Institute, Miami, Florida
• The Bertner Award, M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Houston, Texas
• The U.S. Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology, National Academy of Sciences
• The American Chemical Society Award in Enzyme Chemistry
• The Griffuel Prize, Association Development Recherche Cancer, Villejuif, France
• The G.H.A. Clowes Award, American Association for Cancer Research
• The Gairdner International Award (with David Baltimore)
• The Albert Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research
• Honorary Degree from Swarthmore College
• Honorary Degree New York Medical College
• A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
• A member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Howard Martin Temin died on February 9, 1994.

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