France

French biologist and Nobel Laureate François Jacob dies

AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX

The French biologist François Jacob, who won the Nobel prize for medicine in 1965, died on Friday at the age of 92, a member of his family announced on Sunday.

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He shared his Nobel prize with fellow researchers André Lwoff and Jacques Monod, for their work on the genetic mechanisms in bacteria.

He was born in 1920 in Nancy in eastern France and in 1940 he joined the French 2nd Armoured Division in London, working to free France from occupation. He was severely injured in a German air attack in 1944, later receiving four bravery awards.

At the end of the war he completed his studies in Medicine but he was unable to practise as a surgeon because he could not stand for long periods to perform operations, because of his war injuries.

He turned to biological research instead, and in 1950 he joined the prestigious Pasteur Institute in Paris, under the direction of André Lwoff.

He spent the rest of his career at the Pasteur Institute, working mostly on the genetic mechanisms which exist in bacteria as well as the biochemical effects of mutations.

In 1992, he became a member of the National Ethics Commission in France.

He was a keen amateur painter and was married for many years to the pianist Lysiane Bloch with whom he had four children.

After her death, he remarried in 1999.
 

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