Tibor Gánti

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Tibor Gánti
Born(1933-09-10)10 September 1933
Died15 April 2009(2009-04-15) (aged 75)
Nagymaros, Hungary
Nationality Hungarian
Alma mater Technical University of Budapest
Known for Chemoton model
Scientific career
Fields Biochemistry
Institutions University of Gödöllő
József Attila University
Eötvös Loránd University

Tibor Gánti (10 September 1933 15 April 2009) was a Hungarian theoretical biologist and biochemist, who is best known for his theory of the chemoton, a model for defining the minimal nature of life. [1] He taught industrial biochemistry at Faculty of Science of the Eötvös University, and theoretical biology at University of Gödöllő, József Attila University, and Eötvös University. [2] [3]


Early life and education

Plaque honoring Ganti at his birth site Ganti Tibor Vac Koztarsasag5.jpg
Plaque honoring Gánti at his birth site

Tibor Gánti worked as laboratory assistant at the Bacteriological Laboratory, Factory of Canned Food at Dunakeszi from 1951-1952. He then moved to Photochemical Research Institute of Vác in 1953-1954. From 1958 to 1965 he was the head of Yeast Laboratory, Yeast Factory, Budapest. In the meantime he completed a diploma in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Budapest in 1958, and a Dr. techn. (PhD) in 1962. Between 1965 and 1974 he was the head of biochemical department at the Reanal Factory of Laboratory Chemicals in Budapest. He was awarded a doctorate in biological science by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1980. [3]

Academic career

Gánti joined Eötvös Loránd University as a guest lecturer of industrial biochemistry in 1968 and taught there until 1972. In 1974, he became a guest lecturer in theoretical biology at the University of Gödöllő. Between 1975 and 1979 he taught theoretical biology at József Attila University, Szeged. He became guest professor of the theoretical biology at Eötvös University in 1978 up to 1999. [3]


Gánti formulated a theory about the fundamental nature of living organisms, presented as a model called the chemoton in 1971. According to the chemoton model, of necessity, living organisms should have a basic autocatalytic subsystem consisting of metabolism and a replication process, and a membrane enclosing these functions. [4]

His theory may be the most significant contribution to theoretical biology for understanding the chemical basis and origin of life, [1] as it provides a philosophy of evolutionary units. [5]

Political career

Gánti founded the Alliance for the Protection of Nature and Society (TTVSZ) that received 0.03 percent of the votes and won no seats in the 1990 parliamentary election. He ran as a candidate on the national list of the National Democratic Alliance in the 1994 parliamentary election, but did not obtain a mandate. [6]



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  1. 1 2 Marshall, Michael (14 December 2020). "He may have found the key to the origins of life. So why have so few heard of him?". National Geographic. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  2. Szathmáry Eörs (9 July 2009). "GÁNTI TIBOR 1933–2009". Magyar Tudomány. A Magyar Tudományos Akadémia. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 Chemoton. "CURRICULUM VITAE: Tibor Gánti". chemoton.com. Archived from the original on 12 September 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  4. Van Segbroeck S, Nowé A, Lenaerts T (2009). "Stochastic simulation of the chemoton". Artificial Life. 15 (2): 213–226. CiteSeerX . doi:10.1162/artl.2009.15.2.15203. PMID   19199383.
  5. Hoenigsberg HF (2007). "From geochemistry and biochemistry to prebiotic evolution...we necessarily enter into Gánti's fluid automata". Genet Mol Res. 6 (2): 358–373. PMID   17624859.
  6. Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p. 899. ISBN   978-3-8329-5609-7