Perutz

Perutz

[per-uhts, puh-roots]
Perutz, Max Ferdinand, 1914-2002, British molecular biologist, b. Vienna. One of the pioneers in the field of molecular biology, Perutz studied chemistry at the Univ. of Vienna (1932-36) and then at Cambridge (Ph.D. 1940), where he began a lifelong association with Cavendish Laboratory. There he studied hemoglobin, attempting to use X-ray crystallography to determine the protein's structure. In 1953 he finally developed a methodology for successfully interpreting the X-ray diffraction patterns of large molecules, and he fully decoded the structure of hemoglobin in 1959, permitting understanding of its ability to transport oxygen. For this work he was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with his colleague John Kendrew, who had used Perutz's technique to reveal the structure of myoglobin. Founder (1962) of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Perutz also was its chairman until 1979. In the early decades of his career Perutz also studied glacier structure and flow.

(born May 19, 1914, Vienna, Austria—died Feb. 6, 2002, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, Eng.) Austrian-British biochemist. With John Cowdery Kendrew he founded the Medical Research Council Unit for Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge. His discovery that hemoglobin's structure changes when it picks up or releases oxygen led to the full understanding of the molecular mechanism of respiratory oxygen transport by hemoglobin. For his X-ray diffraction analysis of hemoglobin's structure, Perutz and Kendrew shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Perutz also used crystallography to study the flow of glaciers.

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(born May 19, 1914, Vienna, Austria—died Feb. 6, 2002, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, Eng.) Austrian-British biochemist. With John Cowdery Kendrew he founded the Medical Research Council Unit for Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge. His discovery that hemoglobin's structure changes when it picks up or releases oxygen led to the full understanding of the molecular mechanism of respiratory oxygen transport by hemoglobin. For his X-ray diffraction analysis of hemoglobin's structure, Perutz and Kendrew shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Perutz also used crystallography to study the flow of glaciers.

Learn more about Perutz, Max Ferdinand with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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