Overview

David Baltimore

(b. 1938)


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Howard Martin Temin (1934—1994)

 

'David Baltimore' can also refer to...

Baltimore, David (1938– )

Baltimore, David (1938–)

BALTIMORE, David (born 1938), Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology, since 2006 (President, 1997–2006, now Emeritus)

Idea of Biodiversity: Philosophies of Paradise. By David Takacs. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. xix + 393pp. Bibliography, index. $35.95

David C. Young. The Modern Olympics: A Struggle for Revival. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1996. Pp. xv, 252. $39.95

David Fredrick, editor. The Roman Gaze: Vision, Power, and the Body. (Arethusa Books.) Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2002. Pp. x, 334. $45.00

David Vaught. After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento Valley. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2007. Pp. xi, 310. $55.00

ROBINSON, David Moore (1880 - 1958), Professor of Archæology, Epigraphy and Greek, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md, 1905–48; Professor of Classics and Archæology, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss., since 1948

The Roots of American Industrialization. By David R. Meyer. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. xiv, 333 pp. $45.00, ISBN 0-8018-7141-7.)

Networked Machinists: High-Technology Industries in Antebellum America. By David R. Meyer. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. xiv, 311 pp. $49.95, ISBN 0-8018-8471-3.)

After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento Valley. By David Vaught. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. xiv, 310 pp. $55.00, ISBN 978-0-8018-8497-9.)

Cultivating California: Growers, Specialty Crops, and Labor, 1875–1920. By David Vaught. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. xii, 280 pp. $38.00, ISBN 0-8018-6221-3.)

Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computing before Cybernetics. By David A. Mindell. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. xvi, 439 pp. $46.00, isbn 0-8018-6895-5.)

Medicine Moves to the Mall. By David Charles Sloane and Beverlie Conant Sloane. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. xiv, 198 pp. $39.95, isbn 0-8018-7064-X.)

Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac. By David Herzberg. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009. xii, 279 pp. $45.00, ISBN 978-0-8018-9030-7.)

David Weaver-Zercher. The Amish in the American Imagination. (Center Books in Anabaptist Studies.) Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2001. Pp. xv, 280. $39.95

David A. Mindell. War, Technology, and Experience aboard the US S Monitor. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2000. Pp. x, 187. Cloth $35.00, paper $14.95

David Vaught. Cultivating California: Growers, Specialty Crops, and Labor, 1875–1920. (Revisiting Rural America.) Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1999. Pp. x, 280. $38.00

David Henry Slavin. Colonial Cinema and Imperial France, 1919–1939: White Blind Spots, Male Fantasies, Settler Myths. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2001. Pp. xv, 300. $42.50

 

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(1938–) American molecular biologist

Baltimore was born in New York City and studied chemistry at Swarthmore College. He continued with postgraduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and at Rockefeller University, where he obtained his PhD in 1964. After three years at the Salk Institute in California, he returned to MIT in 1968 where, in 1972, he became professor of biology.

Francis Crick had formulated what came to be known as the Central Dogma of molecular biology, namely, that information could flow from DNA to RNA to protein but could not flow backward from protein to either DNA or RNA. Although he had not actually excluded the passage of information from RNA to DNA it became widely assumed that such a flow was equally forbidden. In June 1970 Baltimore and, quite independently, Howard Temin announced the discovery of an enzyme later to be known as reverse transcriptase, which is capable of transcribing RNA into DNA. Apparently certain viruses, like the RNA tumor viruses used by Baltimore, could produce DNA from an RNA template. For this work Baltimore shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine with Temin and Renato Dulbecco. A few years later their work took on an added significance when Gallo and Montagnier identified a retrovirus as the cause of AIDS.

Earlier (1968) Baltimore had done important work on the replication of the polio virus. He revealed that the RNA of the virus first constructed a ‘polyprotein’ (or giant protein molecule), which then split into a number of smaller protein molecules. Two of these polymerized further RNA while the remainder formed the protein coat of the new viral particles.

In 1982 Baltimore became founding director of the Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts, a research biomedical foundation backed by the industrialist E. C. Whitehead. While at Whitehead, in collaboration with D. Schatz, he identified two antibody genes, RAG-1 and RAG-2. In 1990 Baltimore was appointed president of Rockefeller University; it was not to prove a fruitful or happy time. Many staff opposed the appointment and Baltimore became involved in a bitter controversy. It had been claimed that a paper co-authored by Baltimore and published in 1986 in Cell was based on falsified data. Although Baltimore withdrew his name from the paper, the public controversy persisted in Congressional hearings and the correspondence columns of Nature. Baltimore resigned the presidency in 1992 and returned to MIT in 1994 as professor of molecular biology.

Subjects: Science and Mathematics.


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