Tamm, Igor


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Igor Tamm in his laboratory, circa 1980s. Photo credit: unknown

Years at The Rockefeller University: 1949-1992; emeritus 1992-1995

Igor Tamm (1922-1995) joined The Rockefeller Institute in 1949 and took up the search for inhibitors of virus replication, not only as potential agents for the treatment of virus diseases but also as tools for the study of the mechanisms by which viruses multiply in infected cells and cause disease. Tamm began by searching for a natural inhibitor of virus multiplication. He isolated from human urine a mucoprotein, which he purified and biochemically characterized, that came to be known as the Tamm-Horsfall mucoprotein. The isolated and purified mucoprotein inhibited virus replication by binding the virus and competitively preventing it from adsorbing to cells and initiating infection, demonstrating that it contained what we would now term viral receptors.

See also Chemical Inhibition of Viral Replication, the Discovery of the Role of RNA in DNA Virus Replication, and the Effects of Interferon on Human Cells and Igor Tamm (1922-1995): A Biographical Memoir.


Igor Tamm, virus replication, interferon


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