Life in the Universe


Life in the Universe


George Wald


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(This information was taken from the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series Program 1980-81).

Dr. Wald was born in New York City and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He did research with Otto Warburg in Berlin, and in 1934 joined the faculty of Harvard University, becoming a professor of biochemistry. He is currently professor emeritus at Harvard. Among his awards are the Albert Lasker A ward of the American Public Health Association, the Rumford Premium of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the 1967 Nobel Prize in physiology.

Dr. Wald's area of expertise is the chemistry and physiology of the human eye; in fact, practically all that is known about the chemical process by which light is transmuted into sight has come directly or indirectly from his work. Dr. Wald's first major achievement was his discovery of the presence of vitamin A in the retina, made in 1932 while he worked in Warburg's laboratory. In 1967, Dr. Wald won the Nobel Prize in physiology, sharing the award with Haldan K. Hartline and Ragnar Granit. He has also been a key figure in the development of government regulations for recombinant DNA research. Dr. Wald's lecture at Bard is titled "Life in the Universe."


Biology, Biochemistry

Creation Date

March 28, 1981

Life in the Universe