Famous American Biophysicists

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 1 
Joachim Frank
(Nobel Prize-Winning German-American Biophysicist Known for Developing Cryo-EM)
Joachim Frank
3
Birthdate: September 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Weidenau, Siegen, Germany

Nobel Prize-winning German-American biophysicist Joachim Frank is best known for developing single-particle cryo-electron microscopy, or cryo-EM. He has been associated with Columbia University as a professor for a long time and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society. He has also helped ascertain the structure of ribosomes.

 2 
Walter Gilbert
(Biochemist, Physicist, Molecular Biologist)
Walter Gilbert
3
Birthdate: March 21, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

American molecular biologist and Nobel laureate Walter Gilbert pioneered research on the sequence of nucleotide links in DNA and RNA molecules. The Harvard and Cambridge alumnus later taught at Harvard. He also co-established firms dealing with genetic engineering and pharmaceutical research and was part of the Human Genome Project.

 3 
Martin Karplus
(Nobel Prize-Winning Austrian-American Theoretical Chemist)
Martin Karplus
3
Birthdate: March 15, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Nobel Prize-winning Austrian-American theoretical chemist Martin Karplus has been associated with Harvard University as a professor of chemistry. The Vienna-born scientist had escaped the Nazis to move to the US. Best known for developing multiscale models for complex chemical systems, he has also worked at Columbia University and the University of Strasbourg.

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 4 
Thomas Gold
(American Astrophysicist and Professor Known for His ‘Steady-State Theory')
Thomas Gold
2
Birthdate: May 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 22, 2004

Austrian-born astrophysicist Thomas Gold is best-remembered for proposing the steady state theory of the universe and for his deep gas hypothesis through which he re-defined the abiogenic hypothesis and made it popular in the West. He served as professor of astronomy at Cornell University and remained a member of National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 5 
Bruce Alberts
(American Biochemist Best Known for Having Served as President of the National Academy of Sciences (1993 - 2005))
Bruce Alberts
2
Birthdate: April 14, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Bruce Alberts switched to biophysics at Harvard after getting bored with physical chemistry. He later led the NAS as its president and co-wrote iconic text books such as Molecular Biology of the Cell. Apart from teaching at Princeton and Harvard, he worked to improve science education in schools.

 6 
Arieh Warshel
(Israeli-American Biochemist and Biophysicist Known for His Work on Computational Biochemistry and Biophysics)
Arieh Warshel
2
Birthdate: November 20, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kibbutz Sde-Nahum, Israel

Born in Israel, Arieh Warshel had been part of the Israeli Army before he moved to the U.S. for his PhD at Harvard University. His research on computational enzymology helped him create computer models of chemical reactions and earned him a Nobel Prize. He later established a computational biology institute.

 7 
Georg von Békésy
(Hungarian researcher)
Georg von Békésy
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Birthdate: June 3, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: June 13, 1972

Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist Georg von Békésy revolutionized medical science with his discovery of how the cochlea, a part of the inner ear, affects sound reception. His initial research at the Hungarian Telephone System gave way to more intense studies at Harvard and the Karolinska Institute. He later taught at the University of Hawaii.

 8 
W.E. Moerner
(Nobel Prize-Winning American Chemist)
W.E. Moerner
2
Birthdate: June 24, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pleasanton, California, United States

Nobel Prize-winning American chemist W.E. Moerner is best known for developing super-resolved fluorescence microscopy and for detecting a single molecule in condensed phases. He has been associated with prestigious institutes such as UC San Diego and Stanford University, and has also been a visiting professor at Harvard University.

 9 
Alexander Rich
(American Biophysicist Who Discovered Z-DNA and Polysomes)
Alexander Rich
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Birthdate: November 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 27, 2015

American biophysicist Alexander Rich, who taught at MIT and Harvard, is remembered for discovering polysomes and left-handed Z-DNA. He also founded the pharmaceutical company Alkermes and co-chaired the board of Repligen Corporation. He also won numerous honors, such as the National Medal of Science.

 10 
Britton Chance
(American Biochemist and Olympic Gold-Winning Sailor)
Britton Chance
1
Birthdate: July 24, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Died: November 16, 2010

American biochemist and biophysicist Britton Chance is remembered for developing techniques such as MRI and optical imaging. He also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and worked with Swedish Nobel laureate Hugo Theorell at the Nobel Institute. He was also an Olympic gold medal-winning sailor.

 11 
Donald Griffin
(American Zoology Professor Who Conducted Seminal Research in Animal Behaviour)
Donald Griffin
1
Birthdate: August 3, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Southampton, New York, United States
Died: November 7, 2003

Donald Griffin was an American educator who worked as a professor of zoology at several universities. As part of his work, Griffin conducted seminal research in animal navigation, animal behavior, sensory biophysics, and acoustic orientation. In 1938, Donald Griffin started studying bats' navigational method, which he recognized as animal echolocation. 

 12 
Jerome Wolken
(American Biophysicist Who Developed a Lens to Help Cataract Patients See Better)
Jerome Wolken
0
Birthdate: March 28, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 10, 1999

American biophysicist Jerome Wolken developed a type of lens based on his study of deep-sea creatures, thus helping cataract patients get access to better vision. His lenses also helped photographers and astronomers. He was also associated with Carnegie Mellon University and had penned over a 100 articles.

 13 
Toyoichi Tanaka
(Japanese Scientist Best Remembered for His Discovery of Smart Gels)
Toyoichi Tanaka
0
Birthdate: January 4, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nagaoka, Japan
Died: May 20, 2000

Toyoichi Tanaka was a Japanese scientist best remembered for his discovery of smart gels, a class of materials that contract or expand when triggered by changes in light, temperature, or other stimulus. Toyoichi Tanaka is also remembered for his association with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked as a professor of Physics.