Max Perutz Biography
(British Molecular Biologist and Winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry)
Birthday: May 19, 1914 (Taurus)
Born In: Vienna, Austria
Max Ferdinand Perutz was an Austrian-born British molecular biologist who was awarded the ‘Nobel Prize for Chemistry’ in 1962, jointly with English biochemist John Kendrew, for his investigation on the structure of haemoglobin, the iron containing metalloprotein present in the red blood cells. He applied the most powerful device X-ray crystallography to analyse the structure of haemoglobin that carries oxygen from lungs to the tissues of body through blood cells and returns carbon dioxide back to the lungs. He also researched on the flow of glaciers and made a crystallographic analysis of the way snow transforms into glacial ice. He measured the velocity distribution of a glacier and validated that it is in the surface where the fastest flow occurs, while the slowest one occurs towards the bed of the glacier. He founded and became the first chairman of the research institute; ‘Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology’ in Cambridge that eventually produced fourteen Nobel laureates. He received several awards including the ‘Royal Medal’ (1971) and the ‘Copley Medal’ (1979) from the ‘Royal Society’ of London. He was conferred several honours and distinctions that included ‘Fellow of the Royal Society’ (FRS) in 1954; ‘Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ in 1963; and ‘Order of Merit’ in 1988.