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Ryan Piurek
IU Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Statement on passing of Nobel Laureate, former IU scientist Renato Dulbecco

Feb. 21, 2012

Renato Dulbecco

Renato Dulbecco

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie issued the following statement on Renato Dulbecco, former IU faculty member and joint recipient of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, who died Sunday, Feb. 19, at his home in the La Jolla section of San Diego. Dulbecco was one of four Nobel Laureates who worked together at IU in the life sciences during the late 1940s.

McRobbie said:

"All of us at Indiana University are deeply saddened by the passing of the distinguished virologist Renato Dulbecco, whose groundbreaking research involving tumor viruses and genetic mutations led to major breakthroughs in our understanding of the cause of human cancer. A brilliant scientist and visionary, Dr. Dulbecco also played a pivotal role in the scientific exploration of the origin of breast cancer, and it was his pioneering spirit that played a major role in the establishment of the worldwide Human Genome Project.

"Last March, I had the great privilege of awarding Dr. Dulbecco with the Indiana University President's Medal for Excellence, the highest honor an IU president can bestow, for his historic achievements and contributions to science, as well as for contributing to IU's world-class reputation in the life sciences. Indeed, we should remember that there was a remarkable time at IU Bloomington when he and future Nobel Laureates Salvador Luria, Hermann Muller and James Watson all shared laboratory space, knowledge and research insights that would propel each of them, individually, to the greatest of scientific heights.

"Indiana University is proud to have played such a significant role in Dr. Dulbecco's formative years and to know that he went on to inspire so many scientists around the world through his extraordinary life, work and discoveries. He leaves a remarkable legacy as an extremely influential figure in modern science."