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Salvador Edward Luria (1912-1991) was an Italian-born bacteriologist whose pioneering work on bacterial viruses (bacteriophage) with Max Delbrück demonstrated that bacterial resistance to phage infection occurred through genetic mutation, and that bacteria were suitable subjects for genetics research. He was a founding member of the informal "phage group" of early molecular biologists working on problems of gene structure and function. His subsequent work included discovering the phenomenon of bacterial restriction and modification of phage DNA by means of enzymes, and elucidating the mechanisms by which certain proteins operate within bacterial cell membranes. Later, Luria was the first director of the MIT Center for Cancer Research. He was also well-known for his political activism, especially in protesting the Vietnam War. Luria shared the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Max Delbrück and Alfred Hershey, for their "discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses."
The American Philosophical Society is the repository for the Salvador E. Luria Papers, which range from 1923 to 1992. The collection contains correspondence, published and unpublished articles and monographs, photographs, lectures, speeches, and laboratory notebooks.
As part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine has collaborated with the American Philosophical Society to digitize and make available over the World Wide Web a selection of the Salvador E. Luria Papers for use by educators and researchers. This site provides access to the portions of the Salvador E. Luria Papers of the American Philosophical Society that have been selected for digitization. Individuals interested in conducting research in the Salvador E. Luria Papers are invited to contact the American Philosophical Society.
This online Exhibit is designed to introduce you to the various phases of Luria's scientific career and professional life. It is divided into sections that focus on Luria's life and major scientific contributions. We suggest that new visitors begin with this exhibit, which includes a small selection of documents and visuals, organized within these sections. Each section begins with a "Background Narrative," which leads to "Documents" and "Visuals."
Visitors may access additional materials through Search on the navigation bar. They may also view the materials alphabetically or chronologically by choosing Browse on the navigation bar. Documents and visuals in these lists are arranged by format and then either alphabetically by title or chronologically.