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David Baltimore
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Scientist
    (March 7, 1938- )
    Born in New York City, New York
    Biologist
    Co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (1975) for contributions to virology, most notably the discovery of reverse transcriptase
    Involved in cancer and AIDS research
    Received the National Medal of Science (1999)
    President of Caltech (1997-2006)
    A biographer described him as 'a man whom even his closest friends refer to as arrogant and ruthless.'
    When he was named president of Rockefeller University in New York City, over a third of the professors protested the appointment in the press (1989).
    He dismissed their concerns as 'childish.'
    Less than 18 months later, he resigned under pressure over how he handled allegations that Thereza Imanishi-Kari had falsified data in a paper that she and Baltimore had co-authored.
    He and future director Francis Ford Coppola played tuba together in the Great Neck High School marching band, forming 'perhaps the most distinguished high school tuba section ever to oompah in America.'
    He won the Nobel Prize at the young age of 37.
    A Health and Human Services panel cleared him and Imanishi-Kari of fraud allegations (1996), concluding that the evidence produced was 'irrelevant, had limited probative value, was internally inconsistent, lacked reliability or foundation, was not credible or not corroborated, or was based on unwarranted assumptions.'
    A colleague claimed, 'It is not an exaggeration to say that one could write a pretty decent history of the last 25 years in biology by reviewing Dr. Baltimore's contributions.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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