(Lucien) (1910-1976) French biochemist who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with his co-workers André Lwoff and François Jacob for research in genetics and microbiology.
Monod was born and educated in Paris. From 1945 he worked at the Pasteur Institute, where he collaborated with Lwoff and Jacob. In 1953, Monod became director of the Department of Cellular Biochemistry at the Pasteur Institute and also a professor at the University of Paris. In 1971, he was appointed director of the entire Pasteur Institute.
Working on the way in which genes control intracellular metabolism in microorganisms, Monod and his colleagues postulated the existence of a class of genes (which they called operons) that regulate the activities of the genes that actually control the synthesis of enzymes within the cell. They further hypothesized that the operons suppress the activities of the enzyme-synthesizing genes by affecting the synthesis of messenger RNA.
In his book Chance and Necessity 1971, Monod summoned contemporary biochemical discoveries to support the idea that all forms of life result from random mutation (chance) and Darwinian selection (necessity).