ANDRÉ MICHEL LWOFF
André Michel Lwoff
was born on 8 May 1902 in Ainay-le-Château (Allier). He joined
Pasteur(http://web.pasteur.fr/welcome-uk.html) at the age of
19. He had graduated in science and had done one year of
medicine. Lwoff completed his studies while working in the
laboratory. In 1921, he had the good fortune to study under a
very great microbiologist, Edouard Chatton; Lwoff remained his
colleague for seventeen years. It was through him that Lwoff
joined the Institut Pasteur in the laboratory of Félix Mesnil.
His first investigations were on the parasitic ciliates, their
developmental cycle, and morphogenesis. Later, he worked on the
problems involved in the nutrition of protozoans. André Lwoff
obtained his M. D. in 1927 and his Ph. D. in 1932.
In 1932-1933 a grant from the Rockefeller
Foundation (- http://www.rockfound.org/) enabled him to spend
a year in Heidelberg in the laboratory of Otto Meyerhof - medicine-1922.html.
He studied haematin - a growth factor for the flagellates - the
specificity of protohaematin, its quantitative effect on growth,
and the part it played in the respiratory catalyst system.
Then in 1936, again with the aid of a grant from the Rockefeller
Foundation, Lwoff and his wife spent seven months in Cambridge in
the laboratory of David Keilin; factor V, which is required by Haemophilus
influenzae, was identified with cozymase and its
physiological role for the bacterium was defined.
There were many other investigations on growth factors for
flagellates and ciliates with regard to growth factors, loss of
function, and physiological development until the time when Lwoff
began working on the problem of lysogenic bacteria.
Dr. Lwoff was appointed Head of the Department at the Institut
Pasteur in 1938, and Professor of Microbiology at the Science
Faculty in Paris in 1959.
The observation of isolated bacteria led him to the conclusion
that lysogenic bacteria did not secrete bacteriophages, that the
production of bacteriophages led to the death of the bacterium,
and above all that this production must be induced by external
factors. It was this hypothesis which, together with Louis
Siminovitch and Niels Kjeldgaard, led Lwoff to discover the
inductive action of ultraviolet irradiation (1950).
In 1954 Prof. Lwoff began studying poliovirus. Experiments on the
relations between the temperature sensitivity of viral
development and neurovirulence led him to consider the problem of
viral infection. In this way it became clear that non-specific
factors play an important part in the development of the primary
infection. He has now begun to investigate the action mechanism
of specific inhibitors of viral development.
André Lwoff has been honoured by the following prizes of the
Académie des Sciences: Lallemant, Noury, Longchampt, Chaussier,
Petit d'Ormoy prizes and the Charles-Léopold Mayer
Foundation (http://www.echo.org/fpheng.html) prize. He also
received the Barbier prize from the Académie de Médecine, and
the Leeuwenhoek Medal of the Royal
Netherlands Academy of Science and Arts (http://www.knaw.nl/)
(Amsterdam, 1960), as well as the Keilin Medal of the British
Biochemical Society (1964).
He is a Honorary Member of the Harvey Society (1954), of the
American Society of Biological Chemists (1961), of the Society for General
Microbiology (http://www.socgenmicrobiol.org.uk/) (1962), and
a Corresponding Member of the Botanical
Society of (America - http://www.botany.org/) (1956).
He is President of the International Association of
Microbiological Societies, and a Member of the International
Committee for the Organization of Medical Sciences. He is a
Member of the Société Zoologique de France, of the Société de
Pathologie exotique, of the Société de Biologie and president
of the Société des Microbiologistes de langue française.
Furthermore a Honorary Member of the New York Academy of Sciences (http://www.nyas.org/)
(1955), Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences ( http://www.amacad.org/) (1958), Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (
http://www2.nas.edu/nas/) of the United States of America (1955),
and a Foreign Member of the Royal
Society , London (1958). (http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/)
He holds honorary degrees from the following universities:
Chicago (D. SC., 1959), Oxford (D.Sc., 1959), Glasgow (Doctor of
Laws, 1963) and Louvain (M. D., 1966).
Dr Lwoff died in 1994. Copyright© 1997 The
Nobel Foundation Last updated by Webmaster@www.nobel.se / September 29, 1997