André Michel Lwoff

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André Lwoff
André Lwoff nobel.jpg
André Lwoff
Born André Michel Lwoff
(1902-05-08)8 May 1902
Died 30 September 1994(1994-09-30) (aged 92)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Fields Microbiology
Alma mater Pasteur Institute
Known for Provirus
Notable awards
Spouse Marguerite Lwoff

André Michel Lwoff (8 May 1902 – 30 September 1994)[1][2][3] was a French microbiologist.

Education, early life and career

Lwoff was born in Ainay-le-Château, Allier, in Auvergne, France, the son of Marie (Siminovitch), an artist, and Solomon Lwoff, a psychiatrist.[4] He joined the Institute Pasteur in Paris when he was 19 years old. In 1932, he finished his PhD and, with the help of a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, moved to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research of Heidelberg to Otto Meyerhof, where he did research on the development of flagellates. Another Rockefeller grant allowed him go to the University of Cambridge in 1937. In 1938, he was appointed departmental head at the Institut Pasteur, where he did groundbreaking research on bacteriophages, microbiota and on the poliovirus.

Awards and honors

He was awarded numerous prizes from the French Académie des Sciences, the Grand Prix Charles-Leopold Mayer, the Leeuwenhoek Medal of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1960 and the Keilin Medal of the British Biochemical Society in 1964. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1965 for the discovery of the mechanism that some viruses (which he named proviruses) use to infect bacteria.[4] Throughout his career he partnered with his wife Marguerite Lwoff although he gained considerably more recognition. Lwoff was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1958.[1]

Personal life

Lwoff was a humanist against capital punishment.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jacob, F.; Girard, M. (1998). "Andre Michel Lwoff. 8 May 1902-30 September 1994". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 44 (0): 255–263. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1998.0017. ISSN 0080-4606.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Shafrir, E. (1996). "Jacques L. Monod, Francois J. Jacob and Andre M. Lwoff--introducers of new dimensions in cellular genetics and molecular biology". Israel journal of medical sciences. 32 (2): 162. PMID 8631654.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "André Lwoff - Biography". 1965. Retrieved 2013-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sullivan, Walter (1994-10-04). "Andre Lwoff, 92, Biologist, Dies; Shared Nobel for Study of Cells". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2013-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Michel Morange (2005). "What history tells us III. André Lwoff: From protozoology to molecular definition of viruses" (PDF). p. 593. Retrieved 23 July 2013. His culture was not limited to biology: André Lwoff was a humanist (Lwoff 1981).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>