Robert Bruce Merrifield Biography
(American Biochemist and Winner of the1984 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Birthday: July 15, 1921 (Cancer)
Born In: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Robert Bruce Merrifield was an American biochemist who was awarded the 1984 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of methodology for chemical synthesis on a solid matrix. His ingenious discovery for quick protein synthesis aided in streamlining numerous scientific experiments. Interested in science as a child, he went on to take up a Bachelor degree in Chemistry and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles. He then joined the Rockfeller Institute for Medical Research and remained there in various posts throughout his career, eventually becoming the John D. Rockefeller professor in 1984. As a result of his research, he developed the solid phase peptide synthesis, a method that allowed the systematic study of protein structure. A few years later he also developed a machine for automation thereby simplifying and quickening the process. Other than the Nobel Prize, he was the recipient of prestigious awards as the Gairdner Foundation International Award, Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research and the Chemical Pioneer Award. He was inducted as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1972. An author of several papers for numerous science journals, he had also published a semiautobiographical titled ‘Life during a Golden Age of Peptide Chemistry: the Concept and Development of Solid-Phase Peptide Synthesis’.