Daniel Nathans

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Daniel Nathans
Daniel Nathans.jpg
Born (1928-10-30)October 30, 1928
Wilmington, Delaware
Died November 16, 1999(1999-11-16) (aged 71)
Baltimore, Maryland
Nationality American
Alma mater

University of Delaware

Washington University in St. Louis
Known for Restriction enzymes
Spouse(s) Joanne Gomberg (3 children)
Awards NAS Award in Molecular Biology (1976)
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1978)
National Medal of Science (1993)
Scientific career
Fields Microbiology
Institutions Johns Hopkins University

Daniel Nathans (October 30, 1928 – November 16, 1999) was an American microbiologist. He shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for the discovery of restriction enzymes.

Life and career[edit]

Nathans was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the last of nine children born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents, Sarah (Levitan) and Samuel Nathans. During the Great Depression his father lost his small business and was unemployed for a long period of time. Nathans went to public schools and then to the University of Delaware, where he studied chemistry, philosophy, and literature. He received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1950. He received his M.D. degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1954. After getting an M. D. degree in 1954, Nathans went to the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York(The university hospital of Columbia University) for an internship in medicine with Robert Loeb, a masterful clinician and medical scientist. In 1962, he came to Johns Hopkins University as Assistant Professor of Microbiology; he became Professor of Microbiology in 1967 and, in 1972, Professor and Director of the Department of Microbiology at Johns Hopkins.[1] Nathans served as Interim President of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland from 1995 to 1996. He succeeded William C. Richardson and made it known immediately that he was not a candidate for the permanent job[2]. He endeavored to address problems that needed resolution at the time rather than waiting for a permanent successor to address them.[3]

Along with Werner Arber and Hamilton Smith, Nathans received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1978 for the discovery of restriction enzymes.[4] He was also awarded with National Medal of Science in 1993.

In 1999, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine announced the creation of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine that was named in his honor posthumously along with Victor McKusick.[5] In 2005, the School of Medicine named one of its four colleges after Nathans.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.britannica.com/biography/Daniel-Nathans
  2. ^ David Folkenflik, "From Mapping Genes to Guiding Hopkins," Baltimore Sun, May 8, 1995
  3. ^ "Recollections: A Tribute to the Memory of Daniel Nathans, M.D., 1928-1999," Baltimore, MD
  4. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1978". NobelPrize.org. 
  5. ^ http://www.jhu.edu/~gazette/1999/jan2599/25instit.html

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]