Joshua Lederberg

About Joshua Lederberg

Who is it?: Geneticist
Birth Day: May 23, 1925
Birth Place: Montclair, New Jersey, United States, United States
Died On: February 2, 2008(2008-02-02) (aged 82)\nNew York City
Birth Sign: Gemini
Preceded by: Frederick Seitz
Succeeded by: David Baltimore
Cause of death: pneumonia
Spouse(s): Esther Miriam Zimmer (1946–1966; divorced) Marguerite Stein Kirsch (1968–2008; 1 child, 1 stepchild)
Alma mater: Stuyvesant High School Columbia University Yale University
Known for: Neurospora crassa Bacterial conjugation Dendral Astrobiology Transduction
Awards: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1958) National Medal of Science (1989) Presidential Medal of Freedom (2006)
Fields: Microbiologist
Thesis: Genetic recombination in Escherichia coli (1947)
Doctoral advisor: Edward Tatum
Doctoral students: Norton Zinder

Joshua Lederberg Net Worth

Joshua Lederberg was bornon May 23, 1925 in Montclair, New Jersey, United States, United States, is Geneticist. Joshua Lederberg was an American geneticist who won the 1958 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the mechanisms of genetic recombination in bacteria; he shared the Nobel Prize with George W. Beadle and Edward Tatum. Born in New Jersey, he initially wanted to acquire a medical degree. However, from his childhood, he had a natural aptitude for research work and while working for his medical degree at the Columbia University he began to experiment with the bread mold ‘Neurospora crassa’ under the mentorship of Francis Ryan. He soon realized that experimenting was more interesting than his medical studies and after two years at the medical school he took leave to join Edward L. Tatum to work on bacterial conjugation at the University of Stanford. Soon he established that E-coli bacteria can also reproduce sexually and was awarded Nobel Prize for this discovery at the age of thirty-three. He later established that genetic material could be moved from one strain of the bacterium Salmonella typhimurium to another using bacteriophage as an intermediary step. His works in this field established bacteria as a tool of genetic research. In addition, Lederberg also did extensive research on artificial intelligence and contributed in the development of Dendral, a pioneer project in artificial intelligence.
Joshua Lederberg is a member of Scientists

💰 Net worth: Under Review

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Biography/Timeline

1925

Lederberg was born in Montclair, New Jersey, to a Jewish family, son of Esther Goldenbaum Schulman Lederberg and Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Lederberg, in 1925, and moved to Washington Heights, Manhattan as an infant. He had two younger brothers. Lederberg graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City at the age of 15 in 1941. After graduation, he was allowed lab space as part of the American Institute Science Laboratory, a forerunner of the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He enrolled in Columbia University in 1941, majoring in zoology. Under the mentorship of Francis J. Ryan, he conducted biochemical and genetic studies on the bread mold Neurospora crassa. Intending to receive his MD and fulfill his military Service obligations, Lederberg worked as a hospital corpsman during 1943 in the clinical pathology laboratory at St. Albans Naval Hospital, where he examined sailors' blood and stool samples for malaria. He went on to receive his undergraduate degree in 1944.

1946

Lederberg married fellow scientist Esther Miriam Zimmer in 1946; they divorced in 1966. He married Psychiatrist Marguerite Stein Kirsch in 1968. He was survived by Marguerite, their daughter, Anne Lederberg, and his stepson, David Kirsch.

1950

Throughout his career, Lederberg was active as a scientific advisor to the U.S. government. Starting in 1950, he was a member of various panels of the Presidential Science Advisory Committee. In 1979, he became a member of the U.S. Defense Science Board and the chairman of President Jimmy Carter's President's Cancer Panel. In 1989, he received National Medal of Science for his contributions to the scientific world. In 1994, he headed the Department of Defense's Task Force on Persian Gulf War Health Effects, which investigated Gulf War Syndrome.

1951

Joshua Lederberg and Norton Zinder showed in 1951 that genetic material could be transferred from one strain of the bacterium Salmonella typhimurium to another using viral material as an intermediary step. This process is called transduction. In 1956, M. Laurance Morse, Esther Lederberg and Joshua Lederberg also discovered specialized transduction. The research in specialized transduction focused upon lambda phage infection of E. coli. Transduction and specialized transduction explained how bacteria of different species could gain resistance to the same antibiotic very quickly.

1956

During her time in Joshua Lederberg's laboratory, Esther Lederberg also discovered fertility factor F, later publishing with Joshua Lederberg and Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza. In 1956, the Society of Illinois Bacteriologists simultaneously awarded Joshua Lederberg and Esther Lederberg the Pasteur Medal, for "their outstanding contributions to the fields of microbiology and genetics".

1957

In 1957, Joshua Lederberg founded the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has held visiting professorship in Bacteriology at the University of California, Berkeley in summer 1950 and University of Melbourne (1957). Also in 1957, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

1958

In 1958, Joshua Lederberg received the Nobel Prize and moved to Stanford University, where he was the founder and chairman of the Department of Genetics. He collaborated with Frank Macfarlane Burnet to study viral antibodies. With the launching of Sputnik in 1957, Lederberg became concerned about the biological impact of space exploration. In a letter to the National Academies of Sciences, he outlined his concerns that extraterrestrial microbes might gain entry to Earth onboard spacecraft, causing catastrophic diseases. He also argued that, conversely, microbial contamination of manmade satellites and probes may obscure the search for extraterrestrial life. He advised quarantine for returning astronauts and equipment and sterilization of equipment prior to launch. Teaming up with Carl Sagan, his public advocacy for what he termed exobiology helped expand the role of biology in NASA.

1960

In the 1960s, he collaborated with Edward Feigenbaum in Stanford's computer science department to develop DENDRAL.

1978

In 1978, he became the President of Rockefeller University, until he stepped down in 1990 and became professor-emeritus of molecular genetics and informatics at Rockefeller University, reflecting his extensive research and publications in these disciplines.

2013

Instead of returning to Columbia to finish his medical degree, Lederberg chose to accept an offer of an assistant professorship in genetics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His wife Esther Lederberg went with him to Wisconsin. She received her doctorate there in 1950.