Perutz , Max Ferdinand
(1914––) Austrian–British biochemist
While studying chemistry at the university in his native Vienna, Perutz became interested in x-ray diffraction techniques; after graduation he went to England to work on the x-ray diffraction of proteins with William L. Bragg at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. A meeting in Prague with the biochemist Felix Haurowitz in 1937 turned his attention to the blood protein hemoglobin and he received his PhD in 1940 for work in this field. Soon after, he was arrested as an alien and interned, first on the Isle of Man and then in Canada with Hermann Bondi and Klaus Fuchs. He was released and allowed to return to Britain in 1941. In the following year he joined the staff of Lord Mountbatten, examining various applications of science for the war effort.
After the war Perutz organized the setting up, in 1946, of the molecular biology laboratory in Cambridge, where he was soon joined by John Kendrew. After seven years' hard work Perutz was still far from his objective of working out the three-dimensional structure of hemoglobin, a molecule containing some 12,000 atoms. Then in 1953 he applied the heavy atom or isomorphous replacement technique to his work whereby heavy metal atoms, e.g., mercury or gold, are incorporated into the molecule under study. This alters the diffraction patterns, making it easier to compute the positions of atoms in the molecule. By 1959 he had shown hemoglobin to be composed of four chains, together making a tetrahedral structure, with four heme groups near the molecule's surface.
For this achievement Perutz received the 1962 Nobel Prize in chemistry, sharing it with Kendrew, who had worked out the structure of the muscle protein, myoglobin, using similar methods. In later work Perutz demonstrated that in oxygenated hemoglobin the four subunits are rearranged. This explained the change in structure noted by Haurowitz in 1938. Perutz also investigated the various mutated forms of hemoglobin characteristic of inherited blood diseases.
While indulging his hobby of mountaineering, Perutz made some notable contributions to the understanding of glaciers, particularly by his demonstration that the rate of flow is faster at the glacier surface than at the base.
Perutz continued as head of the Medical Research Council molecular biology unit at Cambridge until his retirement in 1979. He published a brief account of his early life and his views on science in his Is Science Necessary? (1989).

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • PERUTZ, MAX FERDINAND — (1914–2002), British biochemist and Nobel laureate. Perutz was born in Vienna and went to Cambridge in 1936. In 1947 he became head of a unit of molecular biology, and in 1962 chairman of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Perutz,Max Ferdinand — Per·utz (pə ro͞otsʹ, pĕrʹəts), Max Ferdinand. Born 1914. Austrian born English biochemist. He shared a 1962 Nobel Prize for determining the molecular structure of blood components. * * * …   Universalium

  • Perutz, Max Ferdinand — born May 19, 1914, Vienna, Austria died Feb. 6, 2002, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, Eng. Austrian British biochemist. With John Cowdery Kendrew he founded the Medical Research Council Unit for Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge. His… …   Universalium

  • Perutz, Max Ferdinand — ► (1914 2002) Bioquímico austríaco. Fue premio Nobel de Química en 1962, compartido con J. C. Kendrew, por sus trabajos sobre la estructura de las proteínas globulares, esp. de la hemoglobina. * * * (19 may. 1914, Viena, Austria–6 feb. 2002,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Perutz, Max Ferdinand — (b. 1914)    British biochemist and Nobel laureate, 1962. Born and educated in Vienna, Perutz emigrated to England in 1936. After World War II, he helped set up the laboratory of molecular biology at Cambridge and investigated the structure of… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Max Ferdinand Perutz — (* 19. Mai 1914 in Wien; † 6. Februar 2002 in Cambridge) war ein britischer Chemiker österreichischer Herkunft. Leben 1962 erhielt er gemeinsam mit John Cowdery Kendrew den Nobelpreis für Chemie. Anlass für die Auszeichnung waren seine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Max Ferdinand Perutz — (19 mai 1914 à Vienne 6 février 2002 à Cambridge) était un chimiste anglo autrichien. Lui et John Cowdery Kendrew sont colauréats du prix Nobel de chimie de 1962[1]. Biographie Max Ferdinand Perutz avait émigré en 1936 en Angleterre. Professeur à …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Max Ferdinand Perutz — noun English biochemist (born in Austria); studied the molecular structure of blood (1914 2002) • Syn: ↑Perutz, ↑Max Perutz • Instance Hypernyms: ↑biochemist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chemienobelpreis 1962: John Cowdery Kendrew — Max Ferdinand Perutz —   Die beiden britischen Chemiker erhielten den Nobelpreis für ihre Studien über Strukturen globulärer Proteine.    Biografien   Sir (seit 1974) John Cowdery Kendrew, * Oxford (England) 24. 3. 1917, ✝ Cambridge 23. 8. 1997; 1959 …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Perutz — Max Ferdinand …   Scientists

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”