Born: May 8, 1939
Place of Birth: Montreal, Quebec
Sid Altman learned the value of work from his parents who, as new Canadians, both had to work to make ends meet.
As a young boy, Sid Altman would read all types of books at his local library.
His interest in science is said to have come about when he heard of the atomic bomb and when he read the book "Explaining the Atom" by Selig Hecht.
Altman wanted to go to McGill University after high school, however, after writing the American SAT test, he was accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of
America's highest regarded universities.
By this time, his father successfully operated a small grocery business.
He was awarded a B.Sc. degree at MIT and later gained a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Colorado.
Altman gives credit to Leonard Lerman, a molecular biologist at Colorado, for influencing him in this field.
He later worked at Harvard University and at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.
It was at these institutions where Sid Altman's work led to experiments with the factors of RNA and DNA.
He was able through an experiment show that RNA is an agent of change in living cells.
Sid Altman was presented with a Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1989 along with his associate, Thomas Cech, for work
dealing with RNA as a biocatalyst which helps determine DNA heredity.
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