|(1922 - )
An American biochemist who assisted Herbert Boyer in the creation of the first recombinant DNA organism, and won the 1986 Nobel Prize for his work with Rita Levi-Montalcini in discovering cell growth factors.
Cohen, born in Brooklyn, New York, attended Brooklyn College, Oberlin College, and the University of Michigan. In 1968, he took a research position at Stanford University.
In the 1950's Cohen, working with Rita Levi-Montalcini, discovered proteins called cell growth factors that directed the growth of certain cells. For this work Cohen and Levi-Montalcini were awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology.
At Stanford, Cohen studied plasmids, rings of DNA found in the cytoplasm of certain cells. He succeeded in extracting plasmids from cells and transplanting them into the cytoplasm of others. In 1973, Cohen combined his methods with Herbert Boyer's DNA splicing research to, for the first time, transfer DNA from one live organism to another, creating the first recombinant DNA organism. Cohen and Boyer's work had great effects in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology, and led to the development of modern genetic engineering.
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