Howard Martin Temin

About Howard Martin Temin

Who is it?: Geneticist and Virologist
Birth Day: December 10, 1934
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, United States
Alma mater: Swarthmore College California Institute of Technology (PhD)
Known for: Reverse transcriptase
Spouse(s): Rayla Greenberg (m. 1962)
Children: two
Awards: NAS Award in Molecular Biology (1972) Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1975) ForMemRS (1988)
Fields: Genetics Virology
Institutions: University of Wisconsin–Madison
Thesis: The interaction of Rous sarcoma virus and cells in vitro (1960)

Howard Martin Temin

Howard Martin Temin was born on December 10, 1934 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, United States, is Geneticist and Virologist. Howard Martin Temin was an American geneticist and virologist who won a share of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. A medical researcher, he played a major role in discovering an enzyme that is used to generate complementary DNA (cDNA) from an RNA template, a process termed reverse transcription. His discoveries helped to gain an understanding of how some cancer cells operate and later played a crucial role in identifying the AIDS virus. Born to a mother who was active in educational affairs, he was academically inclined from a young age. During his high school years, he participated in a summer program at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor which kindled his interest in biological sciences. He published his first scientific paper at the age 18 and received his bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College in 1955 majoring and minoring in biology in the honors program. After earning his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology he embarked on a career in research during the course of which he made key contributions to the study of cancer. He independently discovered reverse transcriptase which is one of the most important discoveries of the modern era of medicine. In an ironic twist of fate, the cancer researcher was himself diagnosed with the disease and succumbed to it at the age of 59.
Howard Martin Temin is a member of Virologists

Does Howard Martin Temin Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Howard Martin Temin has been died on February 9, 1994(1994-02-09) (aged 59)\nMadison, Wisconsin.

🎂 Howard Martin Temin - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Howard Martin Temin die, Howard Martin Temin was 59 years old.

Popular As Howard Martin Temin
Occupation Virologists
Age 59 years old
Zodiac Sign Capricorn
Born December 10, 1934 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, United States)
Birthday December 10
Town/City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Howard Martin Temin’s zodiac sign is Capricorn. According to astrologers, Capricorn is a sign that represents time and responsibility, and its representatives are traditional and often very serious by nature. These individuals possess an inner state of independence that enables significant progress both in their personal and professional lives. They are masters of self-control and have the ability to lead the way, make solid and realistic plans, and manage many people who work for them at any time. They will learn from their mistakes and get to the top based solely on their experience and expertise.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Howard Martin Temin was born in the Year of the Dog. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dog are loyal, faithful, honest, distrustful, often guilty of telling white lies, temperamental, prone to mood swings, dogmatic, and sensitive. Dogs excel in business but have trouble finding mates. Compatible with Tiger or Horse.



He received his bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College in 1955 majoring and minoring in biology in the honors program. He received his doctorate degree in animal virology from the California Institute of Technology in 1959.


In 1960, the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin - Madison recruited him as a virologist; a position that had been hard to fill because, at the time, virology was not considered pertinent to cancer research. Even though Temin knew he would be completely independent in Madison, because of the lack of research involving virology and oncology together, Temin stated that he was “supremely self-confident.” When he first arrived in Madison in 1960, he found an unprepared laboratory in the basement of a rundown building with an office that could be considered a closet. Until a more suitable laboratory could be prepared, he continued his research with RSV at a friend’s laboratory at the University of Illinois. Later that year, he returned to Madison, continued his RSV research in his own lab, and began his position as an assistant professor.


After receiving the Nobel Prize in 1975, Temin went from a rebel in the scientific community to a highly respected researcher. Temin began receiving international recognition for his work, and used his newly acquired fame to improve the world. An Example of this was in October 1976; Temin helped Scientists in the Soviet Union that were targeted by the KGB, the secret police in the Soviet Union. The Jewish Soviet Scientists had been stripped of their jobs and oppressed after requesting visas to emigrate to Israel. Temin made it his mission to personally visit the Scientists and their families. He gave them gifts that could be resold to help them financially, and he gave the Scientists copies of scientific journals, which had been banned by the KGB. On one occasion, Howard Temin gave a lecture to some of the Jewish Soviet Scientists in someone’s home. The next morning, almost all of Scientists that had attended the lecture were arrested. After they were released, Temin tape-recorded one of the scientist’s account of the event and gave the tape to newspapers in the United States so that the situation that Jewish Scientists were facing would be publicized.


After winning the Nobel Prize, Temin also became more active in the scientific community outside of research. He was involved in over 14 scientific journals. In 1979, he became an advisory member for the Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) and a member of the human gene therapy subgroup of the recombinant DNA advisory committee. He was also a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board, and the chairman of the AIDS subcommittee. At the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), he was the chairman of a genetic variation advisory panel on the development of AIDS, and was a member of vaccine advisory board. In the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), he was a member of the Waksman Award committee and report review committee. In 1986, Temin became a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM)/NAS committee for national strategy for public policy issues associated with AIDS. The last committee Temin served on was the World Health Organization Advisory Council.


In 1981, Temin became a founding member of the World Cultural Council.


In 1992 Temin received the National Medal of Science. Temin was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1988.


Howard Temin taught and conducted research at UW-Madison until he died of lung cancer (despite being a non-smoker), on February 9, 1994. He was survived by his wife Rayla, a Geneticist at UW-Madison, two daughters, and two brothers, Peter Temin, also an academic, and Michael Temin, a Lawyer.


A walking path along Lake Mendota at UW–Madison was renamed in Temin’s honor in 1998. The Howard M. Temin Path, also known as the Lakeshore Path, is a 1.6-mile path that extends from the limnology building near Memorial Union to Picnic Point. The path is used frequently by university students, faculty, and other residents of Madison. At the dedication ceremony, James Crow, a UW-Madison professor, said, “Howard loved to walk and bicycle along this path, and it is most fitting that it be dedicated to his memory.”


Another Example of Temin trying to improve the world was at the Nobel Prize reception. After receiving the Nobel Prize from King Carl Gustav of Sweden; Temin addressed the smokers in the audience, which included the Queen of Denmark, saying he was “outraged that one major measure available to prevent much cancer, namely the cessation of smoking, had not been more widely adopted.” He had also insisted that the ashtray located on the laureates’ table be removed.

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