Nirenberg studies biology at the University of Florida. In 1948 he receives a B. Sc. Degree, and in 1952, a M. Sc. degree in Zoology.

He marries Perola Zaltzman, a chemist from the University of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro.

Nirenberg shares the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology / Medicine with Robert W. Holley and H. Gobind Khorana "for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis”.

Marshall Warren Nirenberg is born in New York City, NY.

Marshall Nirenberg dies in New York.

He does postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and becomes a research biochemist in 1959. He leads groundbreaking experiments to “break the genetic code” and describe how it operates in protein synthesis. He becomes head of the Section of Biochemical Genetics in 1962 in the National Heart Institute, where he remains a laboratory chief until his death.

He continues studies in biochemistry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and in 1957 receives the Ph. D. degree.