Washington University in St. Louis: Jewish American Heritage

Celebrate Jewish American Heritage during the month of May. Read about famous Jewish American scientists below.

Click on individuals to learn more!


Baruj Benacerraf, MD

A Venezuelan-American immunologist, known for the discovery of the major histocompatibility complex.

Gerti Cori, PhD

Professor at Washington University in St. Louis Medical School

Gertrude B. Elion, MSc

Her work led to the creation of the AIDS drug AZT, immunosuppressive drug, azathioprine, and the first successful antiviral drug, acyclovir (ACV).

Arthur Kornberg, MD

Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine

Esther Lederberg, PhD

A microbiologist and a pioneer of bacterial genetics.

Rita Levi-Montalcini, PhD

Professor of Biology at Washington University

Daniel Nathans, MD

A microbiologist known for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application in restriction mapping.

Jonas Salk, MD

Founder the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, MD

A medical physicist and the second woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine (1977) for her work on for the development of radioimmunoassay of peptide hormones.

Howard Martin Temin, PhD

A geneticist and virologist, known for the discovery of reverse transcriptase.

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Biologist (Microbiologist), Educator, Epidemiologist, Geneticist, Pharmacologist, Physician, Physicist
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