Famous British Biochemists

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Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary field of science that involves the study of molecular biology, molecular genetics, microbiology, organic and inorganic chemistry. Professionals in the subject study the structure, composition, chemical process and chemical reactions in living organism. The work of biochemists is applicable in various fields including medicine, food science, agriculture and industry. Biochemists are mostly involved in analysing the chemical reactions in the cells and tissues of living things, studying the expression of genes, and researching on the effects of food, medicine and other substances on living tissues. Like other countries of the world, Britain has been home to several prominent and noteworthy biochemists of the world who through their research have added new dimension to the field of study. They have made crucial discoveries that have broadened the perspective of the subject. Be it Richard J Roberts and his discovery of the mechanism of gene splicing or Dorothy Hodgkin and her work on the structure of penicillin, insulin and vitamin B12. Britain is also home of two times Nobel Prize winning biochemist Frederick Sanger who discovered the Sanger method for sequencing the DNA. Find out in details about British biochemists, their life, their career and their scientific discoveries through this segment.
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 1 
Frederick Sanger
(Biochemist)
Frederick Sanger
4
Birthdate: August 13, 1918
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rendcomb
Died: November 19, 2013

Frederick Sanger remains one of only two people to have won the Nobel Prize twice in the same category. The British biochemist is remembered for his ground-breaking work on nucleic acids and the insulin molecule. The son of a Quaker medical missionary, Sanger, too, grew up believing in Quakerism.

 2 
Dorothy Hodgkin
(Biochemist)
Dorothy Hodgkin
4
Birthdate: May 12, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt
Died: July 29, 1994

Dorothy Hodgkin received the 1964 Nobel Prize for mapping the structure of penicillin and Vitamin B12. She is also known for her work on insulin. Beginning her work on structure of an organic compound by using X-ray crystallography as an undergraduate student, she later developed it further and used it to determine the three-dimensional structure of complex organic molecules.

 3 
John Kendrew
(English Biochemist, Crystallographer and One of the Winners of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
John Kendrew
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Died: August 23, 1997

Nobel Prize-winning biochemist John Kendrew revolutionized science with his 3-D model of the muscle protein myoglobin. The Cambridge alumnus later co-founded the European Molecular Biology Organization and had been the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Molecular Biology. He had also worked on operational research for the Royal Air Force.

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 4 
Hans Adolf Krebs
(British Biologist Who was a Pioneer Scientist in the Study of Cellular Perspiration)
Hans Adolf Krebs
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Birthdate: August 25, 1900
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hildesheim, Germany
Died: November 22, 1981

Born to an ENT surgeon in Germany, Hans Adolf Krebs followed in his father’s footsteps and studied medicine. After fleeing Nazi Germany, he went to England, where he joined the University of Cambridge as a researcher. The Nobel Prize-winning scientist is remembered for his groundbreaking discovery of cellular respiration.

 5 
Tim Hunt
(Biochemist, Chemist)
Tim Hunt
3
Birthdate: February 19, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Neston

Nobel Prize-winning British biochemist Tim Hunt is best known for his research on cell cycle regulation. He was the first to isolate cyclin, while studying sea urchins. His work helped scientists working on cancer research. He has been knighted for his achievements and has also won the Royal Medal.

 6 
Tomas Lindahl
(Swedish-British Scientist Specialising in Cancer Research)
Tomas Lindahl
3
Birthdate: January 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

Tomas Lindahl is a Swedish-British scientist who specializes in cancer research. He is best known as the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which he received alongside Turkish chemist Aziz Sancar and American chemist Paul L. Modrich. Over the years, Tomas Lindahl has also been honored with other prestigious awards such as the Royal Medal and Copley Medal.

 7 
Richard J. Roberts
(Biochemist, Molecular Biologist)
Richard J. Roberts
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Derby, England,

Molecular biologist Richard J. Roberts is best known for his Nobel Prize-winning research on split genes. The Harvard alumnus had wished to be a detective as a child but changed his mind after being gifted a chemistry set. He was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society and knighted.

 8 
Peter Mitchell
(British Biochemist Best Known For His Discovery of Chemiosmosis)
Peter Mitchell
4
Birthdate: September 29, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mitcham, England
Died: April 10, 1992

Peter Mitchell was a British biochemist best known for his discovery of chemiosmosis, for which he was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1978. Over the course of his career, Peter Mitchell also received other prestigious awards such as the Copley Medal and the Sir Hans Krebs Medal.

 9 
Frederick Gowland Hopkins
(English Biochemist Whose Discovery of Vitamins Earned Him 'Nobel Prize in Medicine' in 1929)
Frederick Gowland Hopkins
2
Birthdate: June 20, 1861
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Eastbourne, England
Died: May 16, 1947

Frederick Gowland Hopkins was an English biochemist whose discovery of vitamins earned him the prestigious 1929 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He also received other prestigious awards like the Royal Medal and Copley Medal. He is also credited with discovering the amino acid tryptophan. From 1930 to 1935, Frederick Gowland Hopkins served as the President of the Royal Society.

 10 
John James Rickard Macleod
(British Biochemist and Physiologist Who Co-Discovered 'Insulin' and Worked on 'Carbohydrate Metabolism')
John James Rickard Macleod
2
Birthdate: September 6, 1876
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clunie, Perthshire, Scotland
Died: March 16, 1935

John James Rickard Macleod was a Scottish biochemist and physiologist. Even though his research covered diverse topics in physiology and biochemistry, he is best remembered for his work in carbohydrate metabolism. He played a major role in the discovery and isolation of insulin, for which he shared the 1923 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine with Frederick Banting.  

 11 
Ernst Boris Chain
(Biochemist)
Ernst Boris Chain
2
Birthdate: June 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 12, 1979

Born to a chemist father in Berlin, Ernst Boris Chain moved to the U.K. amid the rise of the Nazis. The Nobel Prize-winning biochemist later worked at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. He is best remembered for isolating and purifying penicillin, along with Howard Walter Florey.

 12 
Gregory Winter
(Nobel Prize-Winning English Molecular Biologist Best Known for His Work on the Therapeutic Use of Monoclonal Antibodies)
Gregory Winter
2
Birthdate: April 14, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leicester, England

Gregory Winter is a British molecular biologist and Nobel Prize winner. He is best known for his work concerning the therapeutic use of monoclonal antibodies. Gregory Winter is credited with pioneering a technique to humanize mouse monoclonal antibodies, which enabled the usage of antibodies for therapeutic uses.

 13 
Rodney R. Porter
(British Biochemist and 1972 Nobel Prize in Medicine Winner Known for Determining the Chemical Structure of Antibodies)
Rodney R. Porter
1
Birthdate: October 8, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newton-le-Willows, United Kingdom
Died: September 6, 1985
 14 
Norman Heatley
(English Biochemist, Biologist and One of the Scientists Who Developed 'Penicillin')
Norman Heatley
1
Birthdate: January 10, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
Died: January 5, 2004

Norman Heatley was an English biochemist and biologist. He was part of a team of Oxford University scientists whose work led to the development of penicillin. Heatley is credited with developing a technique for purifying penicillin in bulk. Norman Heatley's contribution in the development of penicillin was not fully recognized until 1990.

 15 
Lancelot Ware
(British Barrister and Biochemist Who Co-Founded ‘Mensa’, World’s Largest and Oldest High IQ Society)
Lancelot Ware
1
Birthdate: June 5, 1915
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: England
Died: August 15, 2000
 16 
Arthur Peacocke
(English Anglican Biochemist and Theologian)
Arthur Peacocke
1
Birthdate: November 29, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Watford, England
Died: October 21, 2006

Arthur Peacocke was an English Anglican biochemist and theologian. He is best remembered for his work concerning the relationship between religion and science. In 1983, Peacocke was honored with the Lecomte du Noüy Prize. He was also awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize in 2001. Arthur Peacocke also served as a professor and lecturer during his lifetime.

 17 
Richard Laurence Millington Synge
(British Biochemist & Winner of 1952 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Richard Laurence Millington Synge
1
Birthdate: October 28, 1914
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: August 18, 1994

Richard Laurence Millington Synge was a British biochemist best remembered for winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1952 for the invention of partition chromatography. He was also associated with the Royal Society of Chemistry where he served as the treasurer of its Chemical Information Group. Synge also served as an honorary Professor at the University of East Anglia.

 18 
Arthur Harden
(British Biochemist & Winner of 1929 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Arthur Harden
1
Birthdate: October 12, 1865
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Died: June 17, 1940

Arthur Harden was a British biochemist best remembered for winning the prestigious 1929 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his investigations into the fermentative enzymes and fermentation of sugar. He shared the award with German-born Swedish biochemist Hans Karl August Simon von Euler-Chelpin. Arthur Harden is also remembered as a Biochemical Society's founding member.

 19 
Edward Abraham
(English Biochemist Best Known for his Contribution in the Development of Cephalosporin)
Edward Abraham
1
Birthdate: June 10, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Shirley, Southampton, England
Died: May 8, 1999

Edward Abraham was an English biochemist who played an important role in the development of cephalosporin and the first antibiotics penicillin. His work earned him several prestigious awards such as the Royal Society's Royal Medal, Mullard Award, and Scheele Award.

 20 
Hans Kornberg
(British-American Biochemist)
Hans Kornberg
0
Birthdate: January 14, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Herford, Germany
Died: December 16, 2019

Hans Kornberg was a British-American biochemist who became the first person to be honored by the Biochemical Society with the prestigious Colworth Medal in 1963. He also held professorships at prestigious institutions, including the Boston University.

 21 
Hans Kosterlitz
(British Biochemist Best Remembered as One of the Main Discoverers of 'Endorphins')
Hans Kosterlitz
0
Birthdate: April 27, 1903
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 26, 1996
 22 
Muriel Wheldale Onslow
(British Biochemist Known for Her Work Concerning the Biochemistry of Anthocyanin Pigment Molecules)
Muriel Wheldale Onslow
0
Birthdate: March 31, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Died: May 19, 1932

Muriel Wheldale Onslow was a British biochemist. She is best remembered for her work concerning the biochemistry of anthocyanin pigment molecules. Wheldale Onslow was also one of the first women to be appointed as a lecturer at Cambridge.

 23 
Norman Pirie
(British Virologist and Biochemist Known for Crystallization of Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus)
Norman Pirie
0
Birthdate: July 1, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Easebourne, West Sussex, England
Died: March 29, 1997

Norman Pirie was a British virologist and biochemist. He is best remembered for isolating tomato bushy stunt virus and discovering that a virus can be crystallized in 1936. Norman Pirie's work was a prominent milestone in understanding RNA and DNA.