Dulbecco, Renato

Abstract

Dulbecco was an Italian‐born American pioneer in molecular virology who showed how tumour viruses can transform normal cells into cancer‐like cells. Dulbecco (1914–2012) invented the plaque assay technique to quantify the number of viral units in a laboratory culture, as well as an enriched synthetic medium suited for rapidly proliferating cell cultures, contributed to the development of polio vaccines in the early 1960s and discovered that the transformation into cancer cell after the infection of certain types of viruses (oncoviruses) was due to the incorporation of virus‐derived genes into the host‐cell genome. For his work, Dulbecco was awarded a shared Nobel Prize in medicine in 1975.

Keywords: virology; polio; cancer; Salk Institute; Genome Project

Figure 1. Renato Dulbecco in the early 1970s.
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References

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Dulbecco R and Vogt M (1962) Properties of cells transformed by polyoma virus. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 27: 367–374.

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Further Reading

Baltimore D (2012) Retrospective. Renato Dulbecco (1914–2012). Science 335 (6076): 1587.

Bourgeois S (2013) Genesis of the Salk Institute: the epic of its founders. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Grignolio A and De Sio F (2009) Uno sconosciuto illustre: Giuseppe Levi tra scienza, antifascismo e premi Nobel. Medicina nei Secoli 21 (3): 847–913.

Grignolio A (2013) Renato Dulbecco. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani . Roma: Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani.

Hunter T (2012) Renato Dulbecco: a Renaissance scientist. Cell 149 (1): 9–10.

Luria SE (1984) A Slot Machine, a Broken Test Tube: An Autobiography. New York: Harper & Row.

Nuttle X (2006) Interview with Renato Dulbecco. November 17, 2006. The Social and Political History of Genomics, Duke University. http://hdl.handle.net/10161/1564 (updated February 2015).

Verma IM (2012) Renato Dulbecco (1914–2012). Nature 483 (7390): 408.

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Grignolio, Andrea(Jun 2015) Dulbecco, Renato. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002775.pub2]