Cyrus Levinthal

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Cyrus Levinthal
Born(1922-05-02)May 2, 1922
DiedNovember 4, 1990(1990-11-04) (aged 68)
Known forLevinthal's Paradox
Scientific career
FieldsMolecular Biology
InstitutionsUniversity of Michigan
Columbia University

Cyrus Levinthal (May 2, 1922 – November 4, 1990) was an American molecular biologist.

Early life[edit]


Levinthal graduated with a Ph.D. in physics from University of California, Berkeley and taught physics at the University of Michigan for seven years before moving to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1957. In 1968 he joined Columbia University as the Chairman and from 1969 Professor of the newly established Department of Biological Sciences, where he remained until his death from lung cancer in 1990.


While at MIT Levinthal made significant discoveries in molecular genetics relating to the mechanisms of DNA replication, the relationship between genes and proteins, and the nature of messenger RNA.

At Columbia Levinthal applied computers to the 3-dimensional imaging of biological structures such as proteins. He is considered the father of computer graphical display of protein structure.[1]

Discoveries and Accomplishments[edit]

See Levinthal's Paradox.

External links[edit]