Professor David Baltimore is an American biologist and 1975 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine, awarded in recognition of his discovery of reverse transcriptase, an enzyme that synthesizes DNA from RNA. Baltimore also conducted research that led to an understanding of the interaction between viruses and the genetic material of the cell. This contributed to an understanding of the role of viruses in the development of cancer.
He served as president of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1997 to 2006, and is currently the President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech.
Professor Baltimore has profoundly influenced international science, including key contributions to immunology, virology, cancer research, biotechnology, and recombinant DNA research, through his accomplishments as a researcher, administrator, educator, and public advocate for science and engineering.
Professor Baltimore was General Director of the School in Life Sciences from 1991-97.