- Palade, George Emil
▪ 2009Romanian-born American cell biologistborn Nov. 19, 1912, Iasi, Rom.died Oct. 7, 2008, Del Mar, Calif.developed tissue-preparation methods, advanced centrifuging techniques, and conducted electron microscopy studies that resulted in the discovery of several cellular structures. With Albert Claude and Christian de Duve, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1974. Palade received (1940) a degree in medicine from the University of Bucharest, where he remained as a professor until after World War II. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1946 and began work at the Rockefeller Institute, New York City, becoming a professor of cytology in 1958. Palade performed many studies on the internal organization of such cell structures as mitochondria, chloroplasts, the Golgi apparatus, and others. His most important discovery was that microsomes, bodies formerly thought to be fragments of mitochondria, are actually parts of the endoplasmic reticulum (internal cellular transport system) and have a high RNA content. They were subsequently named ribosomes. He left the Rockefeller Institute in 1973 to direct studies in cell biology at Yale University Medical School, and in 1990 he moved to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), School of Medicine, where he acted as dean for scientific affairs, served as professor of medicine, and established an exceptional cell biology program. Though he retired in 2001, Palade remained at UCSD as professor emeritus of medicine. Palade also received the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (1966) and the National Medal of Science (1986). He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1952.
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