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Sidney Altman

(1939 - )

Sidney Altman is a Jewish Canadian-American molecular biologist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Altman (May 7, 1939) was born in Montreal, Canada, and received his bachelor's degree in physics from MIT. From 1960 to 1961, Altman spent time as a graduate student in physics at Columbia University but due to personal reasons had to leave the program before finishing his degree.

In 1967, Altman finally earned his Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Colorado.

Altman reached the pinnacle of his profession when he shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Thomas Cech for simultaneously discovering that RNA molecules could reorganize themselves without enzymes, and directly affect chemical reactions within cells. His work advanced knowledge of how genetic data is transferred, and how the body's defenses can be strengthened against viral attack.

Sources: Dor LeDor; Wikipedia