Erwin Chargaff

Erwin Chargaff

Erwin Chargaff

Birth : (1905-08-11)11 August 1905 Czernowitz,Duchy of Bukovina,Austria-Hungary

Death : 20 June 2002(2002-06-20)(aged 96) Manhattan, New York City,United States

Personal Information

Name Erwin Chargaff
Birth (1905-08-11)11 August 1905 Czernowitz,Duchy of Bukovina,Austria-Hungary
Birth Place Czernowitz,Duchy of Bukovina,Austria-Hungary
Death (2002-06-20)(aged 96) Manhattan, New York City,United States
Died At Manhattan, New York City,United States
Nationality American (since 1940)
Alma Mater Vienna College of Technology(1924–1928)
Fields Biochemistry
Institution Yale University(1925–1930)
,University of Berlin(1930–1933)
,Pasteur Institute(1933–1934)
,Columbia University(1935–1974)
,Roosevelt Hospital(1974–1992)
Famous Research Chargaff's rules
Doctoral Advisor Fritz Feigl

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Events Occured in Scienctist Life


Erwin Chargaff (August 11, 1905 – June 20, 2002) was an Austro-Hungarian-born American biochemist, writer, Bucovinian Jew, who emigrated to the United States during the Nazi era and was a professor of biochemistry at Columbia University medical school.


The second parity rule was discovered in 1968.


Chargaff was born on August 11, 1905, to a Jewish family in Czernowitz, Duchy of Bukovina, Austria-Hungary, which is now Chernivtsi, Ukraine.


From 1924 to 1928, Chargaff studied chemistry in Vienna, and earned a doctorate working under the direction of Fritz Feigl.


He married Vera Broido in 1928.


From 1925 to 1930, Chargaff served as the Milton Campbell Research Fellow in organic chemistry at Yale University, but he did not like New Haven, Connecticut.


Chargaff returned to Europe, where he lived from 1930 to 1934, serving first as the assistant in charge of chemistry for the department of bacteriology and public health at the University of Berlin (1930–1933) and then, being forced to resign his position in Germany as a result of the Nazi policies against Jews, as a research associate at the Pasteur Institute in Paris (1933–1934).


Columbia University Chargaff immigrated to Manhattan, New York City in 1935, taking a position as a research associate in the department of biochemistry at Columbia University, where he spent most of his professional career.


Chargaff became an assistant professor in 1938 and a professor in 1952.


After serving as department chair from 1970 to 1974, Chargaff retired as professor emeritus.


After his retirement as professor emeritus, Chargaff moved his lab to Roosevelt Hospital, where he continued to work until his retirement in 1992.He became an American citizen in 1940.


He became interested in DNA in 1944 after Oswald Avery identified the molecule as the basis of heredity.


In 1950, he published that the amounts of adenine and thymine in DNA were roughly the same, as were the amounts of cytosine and guanine.


Beginning in the 1950s, Chargaff became increasingly outspoken about the failure of the field of molecular biology, claiming that molecular biology was "running riot and doing things that can never be justified".


After Francis Crick, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins received the 1962 Nobel Prize for their work on discovering the double helix of DNA, Chargaff withdrew from his lab and wrote to scientists all over the world about his exclusion.


He died on June 20, 2002, in Manhattan, New York City.


Honors Honors awarded to him include the Pasteur Medal (1949) and the National Medal of Science (1974).


Books authored Chargaff, Erwin (1978).