Edward Lawrie Tatum

About Edward Lawrie Tatum

Who is it?: Biochemist
Birth Day: December 14, 1909
Birth Place: Boulder, Colorado, United States, United States
Died On: November 5, 1975(1975-11-05) (aged 65)\nNew York City, United States
Birth Sign: Capricorn
Alma mater: University of Chicago University of Wisconsin–Madison
Known for: Gene regulation of biochemical events within cells
Awards: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Fields: Genetics
Institutions: Stanford University Yale University Rockefeller Institute
Notable students: Esther M. Lederberg

Edward Lawrie Tatum Net Worth

Edward Lawrie Tatum was born on December 14, 1909 in Boulder, Colorado, United States, United States, is Biochemist. Edward Lawrie Tatum was an American biochemist who along with George Wells Beadle won the 1958 Nobel Prize in Medicine for showing that genes control individual steps in metabolism. Born in Colorado, initially, he followed his father’s footsteps to study chemistry at the graduation level; then took up microbiology for his postgraduate degree and biochemistry for his PhD. His hybrid educational qualifications later affected his career. Nonetheless, his talent was recognized by his professors, who recommended him to Professor Beadle, while he was working on Drosophila at the University of Stanford. Afterwards the two scientists worked on Neurospora and established the ‘one gene – one enzyme’ theory, which earned them their Nobel Prize. Meanwhile Tatum had to leave Stanford because he was an Assistant Professor in the Biology department with a degree in chemistry. Subsequently, he shifted to University of Yale as Assistant Professor in Botany and began working on bacteria with another Nobel winning scientists Joshua Lederberg, whom he had also mentored. Subsequently, they established that E-coli bacteria entered a sexual phase, during which it could pass on genetic information. At last the University of Stanford invited him back as a full professor at the Department of Biology. Later, he held many important positions and served in different capacities till his death.
Edward Lawrie Tatum is a member of Scientists

💰 Net worth: Under Review

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Beadle and Tatum's key experiments involved exposing the bread mold Neurospora crassa to x-rays, causing mutations. In a series of experiments, they showed that these mutations caused changes in specific enzymes involved in metabolic pathways. These experiments, published in 1941, led them to propose a direct link between genes and enzymatic reactions, known as the "one gene, one enzyme" hypothesis.


Tatum was born in Boulder, Colorado. He attended the college at the University of Chicago for two years, and transferred to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he received his BA in 1931 and PhD in 1934. Starting in 1937, he worked at Stanford University, where he began his collaboration with Beadle. He then moved to Yale University in 1945 where he mentored Lederberg. He returned to Stanford in 1948 and then joined the faculty of Rockefeller Institute in 1957. A heavy cigarette smoker, he died in New York City of heart failure complicated by chronic emphysema.