Erwin Chargaff

Life and Work of an Important Scientist

Erwin Chargaff was born in 1905, in Czernowitz, Austria. He graduated from high school, and enrolled in Vienna University in 1923, where he recieved his doctoral degree in chemistry. In 1935, he went to the United States and became assistant biochemistry professor at the Columbia University.

Chargaffs' work in understanding DNA is very important. With his work and studies, he discovered how the four base pairs of DNA matched together. Chargaff's Rule, which states that an organism should have a base pair ratio of 1:1, (Adenine equals Thymine and Guanine equals Cytosine) laid the groundwork that led to the work of James Watson and Francis Crick.

There are big controversies over his work, mostly about how he didn't win a Nobel Prize for his work.

Chargaff died in New York City, on June 20th, 2002, at the age of 96.