George Palade, Romanian-American cell biologist, Died at 95

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Dead, George Emil Palade on October 8, 2008 at the age of 95, he was a Romanian-American cell biologist.

Born on November 19, 1912 in Lași, Romania; his father was a professor of philosophy at the University of Lași and his mother was a high school teacher. George E. Palade received his M.D.

In 1940 from the Carol Davila School of Medicine in Bucharest.

He was a member of the faculty there until 1946, when he went to the United States for postdoctoral studies.

In 1970, he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University together with Renato Dulbecco winner of 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for discoveries concerning the functional organization of the cell that were seminal events in the development of modern cell biology”, related to his previous research carried out at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.

His Nobel lecture, delivered on December 12, 1974, was entitled: “Intracellular Aspects of the Process of Protein Secretion”, published in 1992 by the Nobel Prize Foundation.

He was elected an honorary member of the Romanian Academy in 1975.

In 1988 he was also elected an Honorary Member of the American-Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences (ARA).

At the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, Palade used electron microscopy to study the internal organization of such cell structures as ribosomes, mitochondria, chloroplasts, the Golgi apparatus, and others.

His most important discovery was made while using an experimental strategy known as a pulse-chase analysis.

In the experiment Palade and his colleagues were able to confirm an existing hypothesis that a secretary pathway exists and that the Rough ER and the Golgi apparatus function together.

The many lives and careers that George profoundly influenced served to amplify his impact on the scientific community and thus extend our understanding of cellular organization to the incredible degree of molecular and functional sophistication we see today.

George Palade was uniquely gifted and creative.

He was also uniquely influential, not only due to the immense quality of his work and the scientific concepts he devised, but also due to the clarity and beauty with which he communicated his ideas.

In 1990 Palade moved to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, where he acted as dean for scientific affairs, served as professor of medicine, and established an exceptional cell biology program.

Palade retired in 2001, becoming professor emeritus of medicine at UCSD.

Dr. Palade won many awards other than the Nobel, including the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the National Medal of Science.

As one of at least two Nobel laureates from Romania, he was well known and honoured in that country.

Palade is survived by two children from an earlier marriage, Georgia Van Dusen of Manhattan and Philip Palade, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; two stepchildren, Douglas Farquhar and Bruce Farquhar, both of San Diego; and two granddaughters.

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