Francois Jacob, Nobel winner for genetic work, dies at 92

April 22, 2013 at 5:55 PM
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PARIS, April 22 (UPI) -- French biologist Francois Jacob, who won a Nobel Prize for work on the genetic mechanisms in bacteria, had died, his family said. He was 92.

Jacob died Friday, his family said in a Radio France Internationale report.

Jacob shared the 1956 Nobel Prize for medicine with researchers Andre Lwoff and Jacques Monod for their work on the genetic mechanisms in bacteria and "discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis."

Born in 1920 in Nancy in eastern France, in 1940 Jacob joined the French 2nd Armored Division in London, working to free France from Nazi occupation.

For his wartime service, during which he was injured in a German air attack in 1944, he was awarded France's highest World War II decoration for valor, the Cross of Liberation.

After World War II Jacob completed his medical degree but was unable to practice as a surgeon because his war injuries meant he couldn't stand for long periods to perform operations.

Instead he turned to biological research, joining the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1950 and spending the rest of his career there.

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