George Emil Palade

George Emil Palade
George Emil Palade
  • Born: November 19, 1912
  • Died: October 8, 2008
  • Nationality: Romanian, American
  • Profession: Scientist

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George Emil Palade ForMemRS HonFRMS was a Romanian cell biologist. Described as "the most influential cell biologist ever", in 1974 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine along with Albert Claude and Christian de Duve. The prize was granted for his innovations in electron microscopy and cell fractionation which together laid the foundations of modern molecular cell biology, the most notable discovery being the ribosomes of the endoplasmic reticulum – which he first described in 1955.

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For a scientist, it is a unique experience to live through a period in which his field of endeavour comes to bloom - to be witness to those rare moments when the dawn of understanding finally descends upon what appeared to be confusion only a while ago - to listen to the sound of darkness crumbling.
In 1973, I left the Rockefeller University to join the Yale University Medical School. The main reason for the move was my belief that the time had come for fruitful interactions between the new discipline of Cell Biology and the traditional fields of interest of medical schools, namely Pathology and Clinical Medicine. Time ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
In the early 1950s, during the near avalanche of discoveries, rediscoveries, and redefinitions of subcellular components made possible by electron microscopy, those prospecting in this newly opened field were faced with the problem of what to do with their newly acquired wealth.
My father, Emil Palade, was professor of philosophy, and my mother, Constanta Cantemir-Palade, was a teacher. The family environment explains why I acquired early in life great respect for books, scholars and education. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
Since my high school years, I have been interested in history, especially in Roman history, a topic on which I have read rather extensively. The Latin that goes with this kind of interest proved useful when I had to generate a few terms and names for cell biology. History
We finally understand in general terms how a cell is organized, how its specialized organs function in a well integrated manner to insure its survival and replication.