Biophysicists

Biophysicists observe and study chemical and physical properties of living organisms. Armed with latest scientific instruments like telescopes, mass spectrometers and lasers, they attempt to explain the mechanism of biological processes. For this purpose, they apply their knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Their scientific study works to provide a clear idea about the functions of brain, heart and muscles in living creatures, the process of light absorption by plants and so on. Their job includes observing the effects of drugs and hormones on tissues, to study the evolutionary process of plants and animals to comprehend the nature of genetics and to conduct tests to identify diseases like genetic disorders. Biophysicists have crucial role in developing drugs for the treatment of diseases like cancer. Stem cell is an important area of their scientific study. The credit of developing alternative fuels goes to biophysicists. They also deal with various environmental problems like pollution. With their specialized knowledge, biophysicists work to detect the molecular basis of several life threatening diseases. Moreover, they work on advanced molecular biology techniques like DNA sequencing, mutagenesis and cloning. What follows is a collection of the biographies, timelines, trivia and other information about the professional and personal lives of some of the world’s most famous biophysicists.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Jagadish Chandra Bose

Jagadish Chandra Bose.
4
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 30, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bikrampur, Bengal Presidency, British India (Now Munshiganj District of Bangladesh)
Died: November 23, 1937

Indian physicist, biologist, and plant physiologist Jagadish Chandra Bose revolutionized science with his research on how plants and animals react to external stimuli. He founded the Bose Institute, made pioneering contribution to the field of radio and microwave optics, and also penned one of the first works of Bengali science fiction.

 2 Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin.
4
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: July 25, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Notting Hill, London, England
Died: April 16, 1958
Chemist and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin is remembered for her pathbreaking X-ray diffraction studies of DNA, which helped in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the double helix structure of DNA by Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins later. She also worked on the molecular structures of viruses. 

 3 James Watson

James Watson.
4
Famous As: Molecular Biologist
Birthdate: April 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

James Watson is a geneticist, molecular biologist, and zoologist. He is credited with co-authoring the academic paper that propounded the double helix structure of nucleic acids such as DNA for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. In 1977, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1997, he was awarded the National Medal of Science.

 4 Francis Crick

Francis Crick.
4
Famous As: Co-discoverer of the Structure of the DNA Molecule, Nobel Prize Winner
Birthdate: June 8, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Weston Favell, Northamptonshire, England
Died: July 28, 2004

Nobel Prize-winning British biophysicist Francis Crick is best known for his ground-breaking work to determine the structure of the DNA, along with James Watson, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin. He taught at various institutes, such as the Salk Institute, and was also awarded the Order of Merit.

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 5 Maurice Wilkins

Maurice Wilkins.
3
Famous As: Biophysicist
Birthdate: December 15, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pongaroa, Wairarapa, New Zealand
Died: October 5, 2004

Born in New Zealand, to a doctor father from Dublin, Maurice grew up to be a Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist. His X-ray diffraction studies of DNA helped James D. Watson and Francis Crick, his fellow Nobel laureates, ascertain the DNA structure. He was also part of the Manhattan Project.

 6 Joachim Frank

Joachim Frank
3
Famous As: Biophysicist
Birthdate: September 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Weidenau, Siegen, Germany
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 7 Andrew Huxley

Andrew Huxley.
3
Famous As: Physiologist & Biophysicist
Birthdate: November 22, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: May 30, 2012
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 8 Jacques Dubochet

Jacques Dubochet
5
Famous As: Biophysicist
Birthdate: June 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Aigle, Switzerland
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 9 Peter Mansfield

Peter Mansfield
3
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 9, 1933
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lambeth, London, England
Died: February 8, 2017
British physicist Peter Mansfield is remembered for his pathbreaking research on magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, along with chemist Paul Lauterbur, which won him and Lauterbur a Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. After a childhood marred by World War II, Mansfield’s first job had been related to rocketry.

 10 Walter Gilbert

Walter Gilbert.
3
Famous As: Biochemist, Physicist, Molecular Biologist
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.

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 11 Martin Karplus

Martin Karplus
3
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: March 15, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

 12 Max Delbrück

Max Delbrück.
2
Famous As: Biophysicist
Birthdate: September 4, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 9, 1981

Nobel Prize-winning biologist Max Delbrück is remembered for his pioneering research on bacteriophages, which are viruses that infect bacteria, as part of the Phage Group, along with Salvador Luria and Alfred Hershey. The German-born scientist was a Nazi refugee who later settled in the U.S.

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 13 Archibald Hill

Archibald Hill.
2
Famous As: Physiologist
Birthdate: September 26, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bristol
Died: June 3, 1977

 14 Bruce Alberts

Bruce Alberts
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Famous As: Biochemist
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.

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 15 Sir Bernard Katz

Sir Bernard Katz.
2
Famous As: Biophysicist
Birthdate: March 26, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: April 20, 2003

 16 Arieh Warshel

Arieh Warshel
2
Famous As: Biochemist
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.

 17 Georg von Békésy

Georg von Békésy
2
Famous As: Hungarian researcher
Birthdate: June 3, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: June 13, 1972

 18 W.E. Moerner

W.E. Moerner
2
Famous As: Physical Chemist
Birthdate: June 24, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pleasanton, California, United States
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 19 Erwin Neher

Erwin Neher.
2
Famous As: Biophysicist
Birthdate: March 20, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Landsberg am Lech, Bavaria, Germany

 20 Mária Telkes

Mária Telkes
1
Famous As: Biophysicist
Birthdate: December 12, 1900
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: December 2, 1995

 21 Alexander Rich

Alexander Rich
1
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: November 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 27, 2015

 22 Britton Chance

Britton Chance
1
Famous As: Biochemist, University teacher, Biophysicist
Birthdate: July 24, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Died: November 16, 2010
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 23 Donald Griffin

Donald Griffin
1
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: August 3, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Southampton, New York, United States
Died: November 7, 2003

 24 Alan Lloyd Hodgkin

Alan Lloyd Hodgkin.
1
Famous As: Biophysicist & Physiologist
Birthdate: February 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Banbury, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Died: December 20, 1998
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 25 Franco Malerba

Franco Malerba
1
Famous As: Astronaut
Birthdate: October 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Busalla, Italy

 26 Bei Shizhang

Bei Shizhang
1
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 10, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Zhenhai District, Ningbo, China
Died: October 29, 2009
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 27 Richard Henderson

Richard Henderson
0
Famous As: Molecular biologist
Birthdate: July 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland

 28 Toyoichi Tanaka

Toyoichi Tanaka
0
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: January 4, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nagaoka, Japan
Died: May 20, 2000
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 29 Jerome Wolken

Jerome Wolken
0
Famous As: Biophysicist
Birthdate: March 28, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 10, 1999
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