Biochemist Har Gobind Khorana, whose UW work earned the Nobel Prize, dies

UW News

Biochemist Har Gobind Khorana, who received the Nobel Prize for research he conducted while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, died Wednesday, Nov. 9 in Concord, Mass. at age 89.

“He revolutionized biotechnology with his pioneering work in DNA chemistry,” says Aseem Ansari, UW-Madison professor of biochemistry. “The work that he did in Wisconsin from 1960 to 1970 continues to propel new scientific discoveries and major advances.”

Khorana came to Madison in 1960 to serve as co-director of the UW Institute for Enzyme Research and a member of the Department of Biochemistry.

It was at Wisconsin that he and colleagues discovered the mechanisms by which RNA codes for the synthesis of proteins. This work led to the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 1968, which he shared with Robert Holley of Cornell University and Marshall Nirenberg of the National Institutes of Health.

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