Norman Haworth


Norman Haworth
Sir (Walter) Norman Haworth

Norman Haworth
Born 19 March 1883
Chorley, Lancashire, England
Died 19 March 1950, age 67
Barnt Green, Worcestershire, England
Nationality United Kingdom
Fields Organic chemistry
Institutions Durham University
University of Birmingham
Alma mater University of Manchester
University of Göttingen
Doctoral advisor William Henry Perkin, Jr.,
Otto Wallach
Known for investigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C
Notable awards Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1937)

Sir (Walter) Norman Haworth (19 March 1883, White Coppice,[1] Chorley, Lancashire – 19 March 1950, Barnt Green, Worcestershire) was a British chemist best known for his groundbreaking work on ascorbic acid (vitamin C) while working at the University of Birmingham. He received the 1937 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his investigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C". The prize was shared with Swiss chemist Paul Karrer for his work on other vitamins.

Haworth worked out the correct structure of a number of sugars, and is known among organic chemists for his development of the Haworth projection that translates three-dimensional sugar structures into convenient two-dimensional graphical form.

Contents

Academic career

Having worked for some time from the age of fourteen in the local Ryland's linoleum factory managed by his father, he studied for and successfully passed the entrance examination to Manchester University in 1903 to study chemistry. He made this pursuit in spite of active discouragement by his parents. He gained his first-class honors degree in 1906. After gaining his master's degree under William Henry Perkin, Jr., he subsequently studied at the University of Göttingen earning his PhD degree in Otto Wallach's laboratory after only one year of study. A D.Sc. degree from the University of Manchester followed in 1911, after which he served a short time at the Imperial College of Science and Technology as Senior Demonstrator in Chemistry.

In 1912 Haworth became a lecturer at United College of University of St Andrews in Scotland and became interested in carbohydrate chemistry, which was being investigated at St Andrews by Thomas Purdie (1843–1916) and James Irvine (1877–1952). Haworth began his work on simple sugars in 1915 and developed a new method for the preparation of the methyl ethers of sugars using methyl sulfate and alkali (now called Haworth methylation). He then began studies on the structural features of the disaccharides. Haworth organized the laboratories at St Andrews University for the production of chemicals and drugs for the British government during World War I (1914–1918).

He was appointed Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Armstrong College (Newcastle upon Tyne) of Durham University in 1920. The next year Haworth was appointed Head of the Chemistry Department at the college. It was during his time in the North East of England that he married Violet Chilton Dobbie.

In 1925 he was appointed Mason Professor of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham (a position he held until 1948). Among his lasting contributions to science was the confirmation of a number of structures of optically active sugars: by 1928, he had deduced and confirmed, among others, the structures of maltose, cellobiose, lactose, gentiobiose, melibiose, gentianose, raffinose, as well as the glucoside ring tautomeric structure of aldose sugars.

In 1933, working with the then Assistant Director of Research (later Sir) Edmund Hirst and a team led by post-doctoral student Maurice Stacey (who in 1956 rose to the same Mason Chair), having properly deduced the correct structure and optical-isomeric nature of vitamin C, Haworth reported the synthesisis of the vitamin.[2] Haworth had been given his initial reference sample of "water-soluble vitamin C" or "hexuronic acid" (the previous name for the compound as extracted from natural products) by Hungarian physiologist Albert Szent-György, who had codiscovered its vitamin properties along with Charles Glen King, and had more recently discovered that it could be extracted in bulk from Hungarian paprika. In honor of the compound's antiscorbutic properties, Haworth and Szent-Györgyi now proposed the new name of "a-scorbic acid" for the molecule, with L-ascorbic acid as its formal chemical name.

Recognition

Haworth is commemorated at Birmingham University in the Haworth Building, which houses most of the Birmingham University School of Chemistry. The School has a Haworth Chair of Chemistry, from 2007 held by Professor Nigel Simpkins.[3]

In 1977 the Royal Mail issued a postage stamp (one of a series of four) featuring Haworth's achievement in synthesizing vitamin C and his Nobel prize.[4]

He also developed a simple method of representing on paper the three-dimensional structure of sugars. The representation, using perspective, now known as a Haworth projection, is still widely used in biochemistry.[5]

He was knighted in 1947. He died suddenly on 19 March 1950, his 67th birthday.

References

  1. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ Davies, Michael B.; Austin, John; Partridge, David A. (1991), Vitamin C: Its Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Royal Society of Chemistry, p. 48, ISBN 0-85186-333-7 
  3. ^ www.chem.bham.ac.uk/staff/Simpkins.shtml accessed 2 October 2010
  4. ^ Mayo Clin Proc. (2002)77:108 Stamp Vignette on Medical Science
  5. ^ Garrett, R.; Grisham, C. M. (2005), Biochemistry (3rd ed.), Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole, p. 207, ISBN 0-534-49011-6 

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Norman Haworth — Walter Norman Haworth, 1937 Walter Norman Haworth (* 19. März 1883 in White Coppice; † 19. März 1950 in Birmingham) war ein britischer Chemiker, der für seine Forschungen über das Vitamin C bekannt wurde. Leben Nachdem er zunächst eine Zeit lang… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Norman Haworth — Walter Norman Haworth Pour les articles homonymes, voir Haworth. Norman Haworth Walter Norman Haworth, né à Chorley le 19 mars 1883 et mort à Birmingham le …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Walter Norman Haworth — Walter Norman Haworth, 1937 Walter Norman Haworth (* 19. März 1883 in White Coppice; † 19. März 1950 in Birmingham) war ein britischer Chemiker, der für seine Forschungen über das Vitamin C bekannt wurde. Leben Nachdem er zunächst eine Zeit lang… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Walter Norman Haworth — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Haworth. Norman Haworth Sir Walter Norman Haworth (le 19 mars 1883 à Chorley, Royaume Uni le 19 mars 1950 à Birmingha …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chemienobelpreis 1937: Walter Norman Haworth — Paul Karrer —   Der Brite und der Schweizer erhielten den Nobelpreis für Chemie für ihre Forschungen über Kohlenhydrate, Carotinoide und Flavine sowie die Vitamine C, A und B2.    Biografien   Sir (ab 1947) Walter Norman Haworth, * …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Walter Norman Haworth — Walter Norman Haworth. Sir Walter Norman Haworth (n. Chorley, Lancashire, 19 de marzo de 1883 – † Barnt Green, Worcestershire, 19 de marzo de 1950) fue un químico y profesor universitario británico galardonado con el Premio Nobel de Química del… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Walter Norman Haworth — Sir Walter Norman Haworth (n. Chorley, Lancashire, 19 de marzo de 1883 – † Barnt Green, Worcestershire, 19 de marzo de 1950). Químico británico. Decidió asistir a la universidad y estudiar química después de trabajar durante algún tiempo en la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sir Walter Norman Haworth — noun English biochemist who was a pioneer in research on carbohydrates; when he synthesized vitamin C he became the first person to synthesize a vitamin artificially (1883 1950) • Syn: ↑Haworth • Instance Hypernyms: ↑biochemist …   Useful english dictionary

  • HAWORTH (W. N.) — HAWORTH sir WALTER NORMAN (1883 1950) Chimiste anglais, né à Chorley (Lancashire) et mort à Birmingham, lauréat, avec le Suisse Paul Karrer, du prix Nobel de chimie, en 1937, pour son travail sur la détermination des structures chimiques des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Haworth — heißen die Orte: Haworth (West Yorkshire) in Großbritannien Haworth (New Jersey) in den USA Haworth (Oklahoma) in den USA Haworth ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Adrian Hardy Haworth (1768–1833), britischer Entomologe und Botaniker Alan… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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