Max Perutz

Max Perutz

Max Perutz

Birth : Max Ferdinand Perutz 19 May 1914 Vienna,Austria-Hungary

Death : 6 February 2002(2002-02-06)(aged 87) Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England

Personal Information

Name Max Perutz
Birth Max Ferdinand Perutz 19 May 1914 Vienna,Austria-Hungary
Birth Place Vienna,Austria-Hungary
Death (2002-02-06)(aged 87) Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Died At Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Nationality British
Alma Mater ,University of Vienna(BSc),University of Cambridge(PhD)
Fields Molecular biology Crystallography
Institution University of Cambridge Laboratory of Molecular Biology)
Famous Research Heme-containingproteins
Doctoral Advisor John Desmond Bernal

Word Cloud

Events Occured in Scienctist Life


He went on to win the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 1971 and the Copley Medal in 1979.


Volume 4 (1870 to 1990) published by the Cambridge University Press in 1992.


Overcoming his parents' objections he enrolled as a chemistry undergraduate at the University of Vienna and completed his degree in 1936.


He was elected an Honorary Fellow of Peterhouse in 1962.


When Hitler took over Austria in 1938, Perutz's parents managed to escape to Switzerland, but they had lost all of their money.


With his ability to ski, experience in mountaineering since childhood and his knowledge of crystals, Perutz was accepted as a member of a three-man team to study the conversion of snow into ice in Swiss glaciers in the summer of 1938.


The application was accepted in January 1939 and with the money Perutz was able to bring his parents from Switzerland in March 1939 to England.


His knowledge on the subject of ice then led to him in 1942 being recruited for Project Habakkuk.


In 1947 Perutz, with the support of Professor Bragg was successful in obtaining support from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to undertake research into the molecular structure of biological systems.


Perutz's new unit attracted researchers who realised that the field of molecular biology had great promise, among them were Francis Crick in 1949 and James D. Watson in 1951.


In 1953 Perutz showed that diffracted X-rays from protein crystals could be phased by comparing the patterns from crystals of the protein with and without heavy atoms attached.


In 1959 he employed this method to determine the molecular structure of the protein haemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood.


This work resulted in his sharing with John Kendrew the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.


After 1959, Perutz and his colleagues went on to determine the structure of oxy- and deoxy- haemoglobin at high resolution.


As a result, in 1970, he was at last able to suggest how it works as a molecular machine: how it switches between its deoxygenated and its oxygenated states, in turn triggering the uptake of oxygen and then its release to the muscles and other organs.


During the early 1950s, while Watson and Crick were determining the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), they made use of unpublished X-ray diffraction images taken by Rosalind Franklin, shown at meetings and shared with them by Maurice Wilkins, and of Franklin's preliminary account of her detailed analysis of the X-ray images included in an unpublished 1952 progress report for the King's College laboratory of Sir John Randall.


In an effort to clarify this issue, Perutz later published the report, arguing that it included nothing that Franklin had not said in a talk she gave in late 1951, which Watson had attended.


Perutz was delighted to win the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science in 1997.


The scientist-citizen Perutz attacked the theories of philosophers Sir Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn and biologist Richard Dawkins in a lecture given at Cambridge on 'Living Molecules' in 1994.


Perutz was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1954.


In addition to the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1962, which he shared with John Kendrew for their studies of the structures of haemoglobin and myoglobin, Max Perutz received a number of other important honours: he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1963, received the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art in 1967, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 1971, appointed a Companion of Honour in 1975, received the Copley Medal in 1979 and the Order of Merit in 1988.


Perutz was made a Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 1964, received an Honorary doctorate from the University of Vienna (1965) and received the Wilhelm Exner Medal in 1967.


He was elected to EMBO Membership in 1964.


In 1980 he was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on The Chicken, the Egg and the Molecules.


In 1942, Perutz married Gisela Clara Mathilde Peiser (1915–2005), a medical photographer.


Jewish).He was cremated on 12 February 2002 at Cambridge Crematorium (Cambridgeshire) and his ashes interred with his parents Hugo Perutz and Dely Perutz in the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge.


His wife was cremated on 28 December 2005 and her ashes were interred in the same grave.