Peter Mitchell Biography
(British Biochemist Best Known For His Discovery of Chemiosmosis)
Birthday: September 29, 1920 (Libra)
Born In: Mitcham, England
Peter Mitchell was a British chemist who won the 1978 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his discovery of the chemiosmotic mechanism of ATP synthesis. His work in the theoretical approaches in biochemistry which led to the development of his chemiosmotic theory paved the way for the development of the field of bioenergetics. The son of a civil engineer, he started displaying his love for science at a young age. However, as a school student he tended to ignore subjects like history and geography though he excelled in mathematics and physics. He failed the scholarship entrance examination for Cambridge, but ultimately managed to get admitted to Jesus College, Cambridge, on the intervention of his headmaster, Christopher Wiseman. Even in college he did not give a stellar performance though he displayed great potential in biochemistry and thrived under the guidance of his mentor, Frederick Gowland Hopkins. He eventually began his academic career and went on to set up a biochemical research unit, called the Chemical Biology Unit, at the University of Edinburgh. In the 1960s, he embarked on a program of research on chemiosmotic reactions along with his colleagues which eventually earned him the Nobel Prize.