Hispanic Heritage Month:
Severo Ochoa de Albornoz
Name: Severo Ochoa de Albornoz
Occupation: Biochemist and educator
Birth, death: Sept. 24, 1905-Nov. 1, 1993
Birthplace: Luarca, Spain
Ochoa Severo was an American biochemist and educator, who was the joint winner of the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Arthur Kornberg for the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA), an organic compound that carries hereditary qualities in reproduction.
Severo's work, according to the Nobel Prize committee, contributed to the knowledge of the metabolism of carbohydrates and fatty acids.
After completing his education at the University of Madrid, he taught at the universities of Madrid, Heidelberg, and Oxford, then came to the U.S. in 1940. In 1942, he was appointed Research Associate in Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and subsequently became assistant professor of biochemistry (1945), professor of pharmacology (1946), professor of biochemistry (1954), and chairman of the department of biochemistry.
Ochoa continued research on protein synthesis and replication of RNA viruses until 1985, when he returned to Spain and gave advice to Spanish science policy authorities and scientists. He also was also a recipient of U.S. National Medal of Science in 1979.