Jacob Francois

Picture of Jacob Francois

Date of Birth: 06/17/1920

Age: 92

Place of birth: Nancy

Citizenship: France


He was credited as a military doctor to the Second Armored Division, goes to Africa. In August 1944, he was seriously injured and spent seven months in the hospital, and after recovery was awarded the Cross of the Liberation, one of France`s highest military award.

After the war, he completed his education in 1947 and received his medical degree. These wounds are not allowed to become a surgeon, in 1950 started working at the Pasteur Institute under the direction of Andre city. His first research carried out at the Pasteur Institute, devoted to the genetic mechanisms existing in bacteria and bacteriophages (viruses, bacteria), and biochemical effects of mutations.

By the early 1950s it was already known that the carriers of genetic information are genes, which are located in the chromosomes of the cell nucleus. chemical formula ribonucleic (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) acids was opened. It was also found that the genes are composed of DNA segments.

Jacob found out that the bacterial cell chromosome ring structures are attached to the cell membrane. Moreover, it was possible to open one of the types of RNA, messenger RNA. This messenger RNA takes the genetic information from the carrier DNA.

Another discovery - the presence in the structure of DNA of two species of genes. Some are responsible for the transmission of genetic information, and control the synthesis of proteins (so-called structural genes), others regulate biochemical processes in the cell (regulatory genes). This activity of regulatory genes allow the body to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The same genes are found in bacteriophages, and when exposed to ultraviolet light, activated structural genes for self-reproduction. Based on these data, it was concluded that one of the causes of cancer is the activation of virus present in the body in a latent state.

Since 1954 Jacob cooperated with Elie Wollman. As a result, they have put forward several theories regarding the mechanism of transmission of genetic information from males to female, a concept episomes (extrachromosomal heredity element).

Since 1960 Head of the Department of Cell Genetics at the Pasteur Institute. In 1964 headed the specially created for him the chair of cellular genetics at the College de France.

In 1965 Jacob (together with Andre Lvov and Jacques Monod) won the Nobel Prize "for his contribution to the understanding of fundamental processes in living matter, which serve as the basis of such phenomena as adaptation, reproduction and evolution."

Since 1963, the focus of Jacob involved genetic analysis of cell division mechanism and, together with Sydney Brenner, hypothesized "replicon" (the smallest genetic elements capable of self-replication).

Among the awards: Award of Charles Leopold Mayer (French Academy of Sciences, 1962). Foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Art and Science (1962), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1964), the US National Academy of Sciences (since 1969), American philosopher of society (1969). Doctor Honoris Causa of several universities.

Compositions: Genetic Regulatory Mechanisms in the Synthesis of Protein