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Dr. Marshall W. Nirenberg Named Co-winner of Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology


Dr. Marshall W. Nirenberg, 41, a native New Yorker and a Jew, was named today as one of three winners of the 1969 Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine. He is a staff member of the National Heart Institute at Bethesda, Md. He is credited with two major discoveries that decipher the biochemical code by which genes determine hereditary characteristics. Dr. Nirenberg will share the $70,000 prize with two other scientists for his work on the fine structure of the genetic code and how it is used by the cell in manufacturing proteins.

Dr. Nirenberg visited the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, several years ago, and subsequent to that the then head of the Institute’s biochemistry department, Dr. David Elson, worked with Dr. Nirenberg in Maryland. Dr. Nirenberg will receive a $23,333 share of the prize along with Prof. Robert Holley of Cornell University and Prof. H. Gobind Khorana of the University of Wisconsin. Last Monday, Dr. Nirenberg was named co-winner with Dr. Khorana of the Louisa Horwitz Prize for outstanding research in biochemistry. The award will be presented by its administrator, Columbia University, on Thursday.