Leder, Dr. Philip, National Medal of Science, 1989
Letter nominating a copy of the genetic code
"a copy of the genetic code...The genetic code was a critical scientific
discovery which occurred largely at the NIH as a result of research under
the direction of Dr. Marshall Nirenberg in the early 1960's. The unraveling of this code allowed us to understand exactly how information is encoded in the fundamental genetic chemical, DNA, and converted into the information necessary to stipulate the structure of proteins, the building blocks of all life forms....I can think of no other discovery in biology this century which is more important than the discovery of the universal language of life; the genetic code."