George Palade enters the School of Medicine of the University of Bucharest in 1930 and receives his M.D. in 1940. He starts working in the Anatomy laboratory while still in medical school. He goes through six years of hospital training, mostly in internal medicine, but he does the work for his doctorate thesis in microscopic anatomy on a rather unusual topic: he investigates the nephron (part of the kidney) of the dolphin, in order to better understand the adaptation of a mammal to marine life.

He gains his baccalaureate at the "Al Hasdeu" Lyceum in Buzau.

He is a professor at Yale University Medical School . There he investigates the interactions among the membranes of the various compartments of the secretory pathway, namely the endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi complex, the secretion granules, and the plasmalemma.

During World War II, he serves in the medical corps of the Romanian Army.

He joins Albert Claude at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research and becomes a professor there in 1958. Palade uses electron microscopy to study the internal organization of such cell structures as ribosomes, mitochondria, chloroplasts, the Golgi apparatus, and others. The team discovers the ribosomes of the endoplasmic reticulum, and investigates how they function by analyzing the secretory process in the guinea pig pancreas.

George Emil Palade is born in Iasi, Romania, the old capital of Moldavia (the eastern province of Romania). His father is a professor of philosophy at the University of Iași and his mother is a high school teacher.

George Palade shares the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physiology / Medicine with Albert Claude and Christian de Duve "for their discoveries concerning the structural and functional organization of the cell".

George Palade dies in Del Mar, California.

He is a member of the faculty in Bucharest until 1946. He spends a short period as an assistant in internal medicine, but he returns to Anatomy, since the discrepancy between knowledge possessed by, and expected from, the medical practitioners of that time makes him uneasy.

He marries Marilyn Gist Farquhar (his second wife), a cell biologist like himself.

In 1990, he moves to the University of California, San Diego. There he is Professor of Medicine in Residence (Emeritus) in the Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, as well as a Dean for Scientific Affairs (Emeritus), in the School of Medicine.

After the war, he moves to the United States in 1946 for postdoctoral studies. He works for a few months in the Biology Laboratory at New York University and meets Albert Claude who had come to give a seminar on his work in electron microscopy.

His education starts in Iasi.