Max Ferdinand Perutz
(1914 - 2002)
Max Ferdinand Perutz was
born in Vienna in
1914. In 1936, he became a research student
at the Cavendish Laboratory in a crystallography
group directed by J. Bernal, and remained
in Cambridge subsequently.
War II, he was asked to think of a way to improve the
structural qualities of ice for Project Habbakuk and invented the mixture
of ice and woodpulp known as pykrete.
In 1953, Perutz showed that
the diffracted rays from protein crystals
could be phased by comparing the patterns
from crystals of the protein with and without
heavy atoms attached. In 1959, he determined
the molecular structure of the protein hemoglobin,
which transports oxygen in the blood, using
this method. In 1962, he received the Nobel
Prize for Chemistry, with John Kendrew.
He established the MRC Laboratory
of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England.in
1962, and was chairman until 1979. He remained
active in research to the end of his life.
His son is a professor in chemistry at The University of York in England.
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