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André Michel Lwoff

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André Michel Lwoff
André Lwoff
Born(1902-05-08)8 May 1902
Died30 September 1994(1994-09-30) (aged 92)
Alma materPasteur Institute
Known forProvirus infection of bacteria
SpouseMarguerite Lwoff
Scientific career

André Michel Lwoff (8 May 1902 – 30 September 1994)[1][2][3] was a French microbiologist and Nobel laureate of Russian-Polish origin.

Education, early life and career[edit]

Lwoff was born in Ainay-le-Château, Allier, in Auvergne, France, into a Jewish[4][5] family, the son of Marie (Siminovitch), an artist, and Solomon Lwoff, a psychiatrist.[6] He joined the Institute Pasteur in Paris when he was 19 years old. In 1932, he finished his PhD and, with the help of a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, moved with his wife and co-researcher Marguerite Lwoff to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research of Heidelberg to Otto Meyerhof, where he did research on the development of flagellates. Another Rockefeller grant allowed him go to the University of Cambridge in 1937. In 1938, he was appointed departmental head at the Institut Pasteur, where he did groundbreaking research on bacteriophages, microbiota and on the poliovirus.

Awards and honors[edit]

He was awarded numerous prizes from the French Académie des Sciences, the Grand Prix Charles-Leopold Mayer, the Leeuwenhoek Medal of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1960 and the Keilin Medal of the British Biochemical Society in 1964. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1965 for the discovery of the mechanism that some viruses (which he named proviruses) use to infect bacteria.[6] He was an elected member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.[7][8][9] Throughout his career he partnered with his wife Marguerite Lwoff although he gained considerably more recognition. Lwoff was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 1958.[1] Lwoff was also president of the FEMS for a term of two years from 1974. The FEMS-Lwoff Award in microbiology is named in his honour. [10]

Personal life[edit]

Lwoff was married to the microbiologist and virologist Marguerite Lwoff with whom he published many works. He was also a humanist against capital punishment.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Jacob, F.; Girard, M. (1998). "Andre Michel Lwoff. 8 May 1902-30 September 1994". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 44: 255–263. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1998.0017. ISSN 0080-4606. PMID 11623983. S2CID 30313937.
  2. ^ Shafrir, E. (1996). "Jacques L. Monod, Francois J. Jacob and Andre M. Lwoff--introducers of new dimensions in cellular genetics and molecular biology". Israel Journal of Medical Sciences. 32 (2): 162. PMID 8631654.
  3. ^ "André Lwoff - Biography". Nobelprize.org. 1965. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  4. ^ "André Lwoff, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965". geni_family_tree. 8 May 1902. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  5. ^ "Jewish Nobel Prize Winners in Medicine". www.jinfo.org. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  6. ^ a b Sullivan, Walter (1994-10-04). "Andre Lwoff, 92, Biologist, Dies; Shared Nobel for Study of Cells". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  7. ^ "Andre Lwoff". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved 2022-09-22.
  8. ^ "Andre Michel Lwoff". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2022-09-22.
  9. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2022-09-22.
  10. ^ "FEMS-Lwoff Award".
  11. ^ Michel Morange (2005). "What history tells us III. André Lwoff: From protozoology to molecular definition of viruses". p. 593. Retrieved 23 April 2017. His culture was not limited to biology: André Lwoff was a humanist (Lwoff 1981).

External links[edit]