PerspectiveRetrospective

Paul C. Zamecnik (1912–2009)

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Science  04 Dec 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5958, pp. 1359
DOI: 10.1126/science.1184725

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Summary

Paul Zamecnik's scientific curiosity was tweaked when the fat lady died. As a young medical resident in Cleveland, Ohio, a morbidly obese woman under his care died within a week of hospitalization. At autopsy, he was struck by the excessive amount of fat in her tissue but only minimal protein, and began to wonder how proteins were actually synthesized. It was 1936, and Zamecnik's effort to answer that question proved to occupy his thinking and research for much of his scientific career.