Biophysicists

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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.
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 1 
Jagadish Chandra Bose
6
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
4
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 
Francis Crick
(Co-discoverer of the Structure of the DNA Molecule, Nobel Prize Winner)
Francis Crick
4
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.

 4 
Maurice Wilkins
(Biophysicist)
Maurice Wilkins
3
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.

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 5 
Andrew Huxley
(Biophysicist)
Andrew Huxley
3
Birthdate: November 22, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: May 30, 2012

Nobel Prize-winning physiologist Andrew Huxley is remembered for his studies on nerves and fibers and the chemical processes related to the transmission of nerve impulses. The grandson of biologist T.H. Huxley and the son of the author Leonard Huxley, he was later also knighted for his achievements.

 6 
Joachim Frank
(Biophysicist)
Joachim Frank
3
Birthdate: September 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Weidenau, Siegen, Germany
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 7 
Jacques Dubochet
(Biophysicist)
Jacques Dubochet
5
Birthdate: June 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Aigle, Switzerland
 8 
Peter Mansfield
(British Physicist Who Won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for Discoveries Concerning Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
Peter Mansfield
3
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.
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 9 
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.

 10 
Max Delbrück
(Biophysicist)
Max Delbrück
2
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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 11 
Martin Karplus
3
Birthdate: March 15, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
 12 
Archibald Hill
(Physiologist)
Archibald Hill
2
Birthdate: September 26, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: June 3, 1977

Nobel Prize-winning physiologist and biophysicist Archibald Hill is best remembered for his research on muscular heat production. The Cambridge alumnus also taught physiology at Manchester University and UCL, and was a research professor at the Royal Society. He was married to the sister of economist John Maynard Keynes.

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 13 
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.

 14 
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.

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 15 
Sir Bernard Katz
(Biophysicist)
Sir Bernard Katz
2
Birthdate: March 26, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: April 20, 2003

Nobel Prize-winning German-born British physician Sir Bernard Katz is remembered for his research on nerves and muscles. The Carnegie fellowship winner had also been part of the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II. He was also knighted for his achievements and made a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 16 
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.

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 17 
Georg von Békésy
(Hungarian researcher)
Georg von Békésy
2
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.

 18 
W.E. Moerner
(Physical Chemist)
W.E. Moerner
2
Birthdate: June 24, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pleasanton, California, United States
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 19 
Erwin Neher
(Biophysicist)
Erwin Neher
2
Birthdate: March 20, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Landsberg am Lech, Bavaria, Germany
 20 
Mária Telkes
(Biophysicist)
Mária Telkes
1
Birthdate: December 12, 1900
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: December 2, 1995
 21 
Alexander Rich
(Biologist)
Alexander Rich
1
Birthdate: November 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 27, 2015
 22 
Britton Chance
(Biochemist, University teacher, Biophysicist)
Britton Chance
1
Birthdate: July 24, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Died: November 16, 2010
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 23 
Alan Lloyd Hodgkin
(Physiologist)
Alan Lloyd Hodgkin
1
Birthdate: February 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Banbury, Oxfordshire, England
Died: December 20, 1998

Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist Alan Lloyd Hodgkin is remembered for his research on the chemical processes related to nerve impulses. As a child, he was also interested in ornithology. He also taught at Cambridge and was a research professor at the Royal Society. He was knighted for his achievements.

 24 
Donald Griffin
(Professor)
Donald Griffin
1
Birthdate: August 3, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Southampton, New York, United States
Died: November 7, 2003
 25 
Franco Malerba
(Astronaut)
Franco Malerba
1
Birthdate: October 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Busalla, Italy
 26 
Richard Henderson
(Molecular biologist)
Richard Henderson
0
Birthdate: July 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
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 27 
Bei Shizhang
(Politician)
Bei Shizhang
1
Birthdate: October 10, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Zhenhai District, Ningbo, China
Died: October 29, 2009
 28 
Jerome Wolken
(Biophysicist)
Jerome Wolken
0
Birthdate: March 28, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 10, 1999
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 29 
Toyoichi Tanaka
(Scientist)
Toyoichi Tanaka
0
Birthdate: January 4, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nagaoka, Japan
Died: May 20, 2000