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Jacques Monod

Jacques Monod
BornFebruary 9 1910(1910-02-09)
Paris, France
DiedMay 31 1976 (aged 66)
Paris, France
Known forLac operon
Notable prizes Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1965)
Religious stanceNone (Atheist)

See also Jacques-Louis Monod, French-born composer and cousin of Jacques Monod.

Jacques Lucien Monod (February 9, 1910 – May 31, 1976) was a French biologist who was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965. Born in Paris, he was also awarded several other honours and distinctions, among them the Légion d'honneur. Monod (along with François Jacob) is famous for his work on the Lac operon. Study of the control of expression of genes in the Lac operon provided the first example of a transcriptional regulation system. He also suggested the existence of mRNA molecules that link the information encoded in DNA and proteins.

Monod also made important contributions to the field of enzymology with his proposed theory of allostery proposed in 1965 with Jeffries Wyman (1901-1995) and Jean-Pierre Changeux.[1]

The experimental system used by Jacob and Monod was a common bacterium, E. coli, but the basic regulatory concept (described in the Lac operon article) that was discovered by Jacob and Monod is fundamental to cellular regulation for all organisms. The key idea is that E. coli does not bother to waste energy making such enzymes if there is no need to metabolize lactose, such as when other sugars like glucose are available. The type of regulation is called negative gene regulation, as the operon is inactivated by a protein complex that is removed in the presence of lactose (regulatory induction).

Monod was not only a biologist but also a fine musician and esteemed writer on the philosophy of science. He was a political activist and chief of staff of operations for the Forces Françaises de l'Interieur during World War II. In preparation for the Allied landings, he arranged parachute drops of weapons, railroad bombings, and mail interceptions.

Jacques Monod died in 1976 and was interred in the Cimetière du Grand Jas in Cannes on the French Riviera.


  • The Statue Within: an autobiography by Francois Jacob, Basic Books, 1988. ISBN 0-465-08223-8 Translated from the French. 1995 paperback: ISBN 0-87969476-9
  • Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology by Jacques Monod, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1971, ISBN 0-394-46615-2
  • Of Microbes and Life, Jacques Monod, Ernest Bornek, June 1971, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-03431-8
  • The Eighth Day of Creation: makers of the revolution in biology by Horace Freeland Judson, Simon and Schuster, 1979. ISBN 0-671-22540-5. Expanded Edition Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory Press, 1996. ISBN 0-87969478-5. Widely-praised history of molecular biology recounted through the lives and work of the major figures, including Monod.
  • Origins of Molecular Biology: a Tribute to Jacques Monod edited by Agnes Ullmann, Washington, ASM Press, 2003, ISBN 1-55581-281-3. Jacques Monod seen by persons who interacted with him as a scientist.


  • "The first scientific postulate is the objectivity of nature: nature does not have any intention or goal"
  • "A scientist who believes in god suffers from schizophrenia"


  1. ^ J. Monod, J. Wyman, J.P. Changeux. (1965). On The nature of allosteric transitions:A plausible model. J. Mol. Biol., May;12:88-118.

NAME Monod, Jacques
DATE OF BIRTH February 9 1910
PLACE OF BIRTH Paris, France
DATE OF DEATH May 31 1976
PLACE OF DEATH Paris, France
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jacques_Monod". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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