Alfred Hershey

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Alfred Hershey
Alfred D. Hershey in 1969
BornDecember 4, 1908
Owosso, Michigan
DiedMay 22, 1997
NationalityUnited States
Alma materMichigan State University
Known forbacteriophages
AwardsNobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1969
Scientific career

Alfred Day Hershey (December 4, 1908 – May 22, 1997) was an American Nobel Prize-winning bacteriologist and geneticist.

He was born in Owosso, Michigan and received his B.S. in chemistry at Michigan State University in 1930 and his Ph.D. in bacteriology in 1934, taking a position shortly thereafter at the Department of Bacteriology at Washington University in St. Louis.

He began doing experiments with bacteriophages with Italian-American Salvador Luria and German Max Delbrück in 1940. He found that when two different strains of bacteriophage have infected the same bacteria, the two viruses may exchange genetic information.

He moved with his wife Harriet to Cold Spring Harbor, New York, in 1950 to join the Carnegie Institution for Science's Department of Genetics. There he performed the famous Hershey-Chase blender experiment with Martha Chase in 1952. This experiment provided additional evidence that DNA, not protein, was the genetic material.

He became director of the Carnegie Institution in 1962 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1969, shared with Luria and Delbrück for their discovery on the replication of viruses and their genetic structure.

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