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Salvador Luria
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    (August 13, 1912-February 6, 1991)
    Born in Turin, Italy
    Birth name was Salvatore Luria
    Became a naturalized US citizen (1947)
    Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 1964-78)
    Director of the MIT Center for Cancer Research (1972-85)
    Conducted an experiment with Max Delbruck that demonstrated statistically that inheritance in bacteria follows Darwinian rather than Lamarckian principles
    Co-discoverer of restriction enzymes in bacteria
    Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Delbruck and Alfred Hershey (1969)
    He said he watched television only once in his life: to see a program with a panel of eight American socialists.
    His graduate student James Watson won the Nobel Prize seven years before he did.
    He later joked that he wished the Nobel Committee had waited a little longer -- the year after his win, the cash value of the Prize doubled.
    When the Mussolini regime banned Jews from academic fellowships, he emigrated to Paris (1938); two years later, when the Nazis invaded France, he fled on a bicycle to Marseilles, where he was able to get a visa to the US.
    He was one of the first scientists to sign Linus Pauling's letter protesting nuclear weapons testing.
    His opposition to the Korean and Vietnam Wars resulted in his lab being repeatedly denied federal funds during the Eisenhower and Johnson administrations.
    His leftist views also resulted in his being denied a passport for most of the '50s.
    The Delbruck-Luria experiment explained how bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics.
    He won a National Book Award for his popular science book 'Life: The Unfinished Experiment.' (1971)

Credit: C. Fishel

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