Hartmut Michel Biography
(German Biochemist and 1988 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry)
Birthday: July 18, 1948 (Cancer)
Born In: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Hartmut Michel is a German biochemist who was conferred with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1988 for finding success with the crystallization of membrane proteins and elucidation of the three-dimensional structure of the photosynthetic reaction centre from the purple bacterium Rhodopseudomonas viridis. He shared the prize with Robert Huber and Johann Deisenhofer. Photosynthesis is the most important chemical reaction in the world. Research conducted by Hartmut Michel, Robert Huber and Johann Deisenhofer helped in achieving a major breakthrough that helped in the understanding of the light reaction in photosynthesis. Apart from his work in the photosynthetic reaction centre, Michel was the first to observe the three-dimensional crystals in the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin. In 1981, he became the first scientist to crystallise a membrane complex, the photosynthetic reaction system, and thereby make it accessible to X-ray structure analysis. His pioneering work has found application in various fields including medicine. Currently, he serves as the Director of the Department of Molecular Membrane Biology at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt am Main and as an Adjunct Professor at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main.