Severo Ochoa de Albornoz Severo Ochoa was born in Luarca, Spain, on September 24, 1905. His father was Severo Manuel Ochoa, a lawyer and businessman, and his mother, Carmen de Alboronoz. His father died when Ochoa was seven and he and his mother moved to Málaga, where he attended school through high school. He then attended Málaga College in 1921 and received his BA. His interest in biology was stimulated by the publications of the Spanish neurologist and Nobel awardee Santiago Ramón y Cajal. In 1923, he went to the University of Madrid Medical School, where he hoped to work with Cajal, but Cajal retired. In 1929, he obtained his MD degree with honors.
From then until 1941, he held many positions, worked with many people at many places, and then went to America. In America, he again held many positions at many universities, and in 1956, he became an American citizen. In working at all these places, he learned much, all of which led him to his discovery. In 1959, Ochoa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on the synthesis of RNA.
Ochoa continued research on protein synthesis and replication of RNA viruses until 1985, when he returned to Spain and gave advice to Spanish science policy authorities and scientists. Ochoa died in Madrid and a new research center that was planned in the 1970s, was finally built and named after Ochoa.
In 1931, Ochoa married Carmen Garcia Cobian, but they had no children.