Ochoa, Severo

Ochoa, Severo

Ochoa, Severo, 1905-93, American biochemist and educator, b. Spain, M.D. Univ. of Madrid, 1929. After teaching at the universities of Madrid, Heidelberg, and Oxford, he came to the United States in 1940. In 1954 he was appointed chairman of the department of biochemistry at New York Univ. He became an American citizen in 1956. With Arthur Kornberg he received the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA), an organic compound that carries hereditary qualities in all reproduction.
Ochoa is a name of Hispanic origin.

Surname origins

Ochoa was originally a given name in medieval Spain. It originated in the Basque Country and meant the wolf (in Standard Basque, otsoa). There was also a female given name Ochanda. The Spanish version of this Basque given name was Lope.

Ochoa became a surname as a patronymic. It does not have the -ez suffix as do other Spanish patronymics due to the Basque origin of the name. Lope for example became a surname as López.

From the Basque Country it spread to the rest of Spain, Portugal and then to the Americas. In modern Basque the surname is spelled as Otxoa. About a 25% of the Spanish Ochoa's still live in the Basque area of Spain (Basque Country and Navarre).


The name may refer to:

Fictional characters


  • Ochoa syndrome, rare congenital syndrome associated with facial expressions and hydronephrosis

Search another word or see ochoa, severoon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature