Ernst Boris Chain


Ernst Boris Chain

Infobox Scientist
name = Sir Ernst Boris Chain
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image_width =150px
caption = Ernst Boris Chain
birth_date = June 19, 1906
birth_place = Berlin
death_date = August 12, 1979
death_place =
residence =
citizenship = British
nationality = German
ethnicity =
field = biochemistry
work_institutions =
alma_mater =
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students =
known_for = penicillin
author_abbrev_bot =
author_abbrev_zoo =
influences =
influenced =
prizes = Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 1945
religion =
footnotes =

Sir Ernst Boris Chain (June 19, 1906 – August 12, 1979) was a German-born British biochemist, and a 1945 co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on penicillin.

Chain was born in Berlin to a Russian father who moved from his birthland to study chemistry abroad, and a German Berliner mother. In 1930, he received his degree in chemistry from Friedrich Wilhelm University. After the Nazis came to power, Chain knew that he, being a Jew, would no longer be safe in Germany. He left Germany in 1933 and moved to England.

He began working on phospholipids at Cambridge University under the direction of Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins. In 1935, he accepted a job at Oxford University as a lecturer in pathology. During this time he worked on a range of research topics, including snake venoms, tumour metabolism, lysozymes, and biochemistry techniques.

In 1939, he joined Howard Florey to investigate natural antibacterial agents produced by microorganisms. This led him and Florey to revisit the work of Alexander Fleming, who had described penicillin nine years previously. Chain and Florey went on to discover penicillin's therapeutic action and its chemical composition. It was Chain who worked out how to isolate and concentrate penicillin. He also theorized the structure of penicillin, which was confirmed by x-ray crystallography done by Dorothy Hodgkin. For this research, Chain, Florey, and Fleming received the Nobel Prize in 1945.

Towards the end of World War II, Chain learned his mother and sister had perished in the war. After World War II, Chain moved to Rome, Italy to work at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Superior Institute of Health). He returned to Britain in 1964 as head of the biochemistry department at Imperial College London.

He was a life long friend of Professor Albert Neuberger FRS, whom he met in Berlin in the 1930s.

In 1948, he married Anne Beloff, sister of Max Beloff and Nora Beloff. In his later life, his Jewish identity became increasingly important to him. He became a member of the board of governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovot in 1954, and later a member of the executive council. He raised his children securely within the Jewish faith, arranging much extracurricular tuition for them. His views were expressed most clearly in his speech ‘Why I am a Jew’ given at the World Jewish Congress Conference of Intellectuals in 1965. [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography]

After his retirement, he moved to the west of Ireland.

References

* Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
*"Nobel Lectures, Physiology or Medicine 1942-1962", Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1964
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*Citation
id = PMID:8878227
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8878227
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publication-date=1996 Sep
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title=The discovery of penicillin.
volume=15
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periodical=Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J.
pages=811-8

*Citation
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url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8647352
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pages=525-8

*Citation
id = PMID:3304987
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*Citation
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url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6358729
last=Sheppard
first=J
publication-date=1983 Oct
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title=Illustrations from the Wellcome Institute Library. The Chain papers.
volume=27
issue=4
periodical=Medical history
pages=434-5

*Citation
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url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/399328
last=Mansford
first=K R
publication-date=1979 Oct 25
year=1979
title=Sir Ernst Chain, 1906-1979.
volume=281
issue=5733
periodical=Nature
pages=715-7

*Citation
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url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/393682
last=Abraham
first=E P
publication-date=1979 Oct
year=1979
title=Obituary: Sir Ernst Boris Chain.
volume=32
issue=10
periodical=J. Antibiot.
pages=1080-1

*Citation
id = PMID:89493
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/89493
publication-date=1979 Aug 25
year=1979
title=Ernst Boris Chain.
volume=2
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periodical=Lancet
pages=427

*Citation
id = PMID:391241
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/391241
last=Wagner
first=W H
publication-date=1979
year=1979
title= [In memoriam, Dr. Ernst Boris Chain]
volume=29
issue=10
periodical=Arzneimittel-Forschung
pages=1645-6

*Citation
id = PMID:4569743
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4569743
last=Madden
first=J L
publication-date=1973 Mar
year=1973
title="Chance only favours the mind which is prepared".
volume=136
issue=3
periodical=Surgery, gynecology & obstetrics
pages=444-5

*Citation
id = PMID:5188004
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5188004
publication-date=1968 Sep
year=1968
title= [Nobel Prize winner Chain and penicillin]
volume=22
issue=9
periodical=Die Agnes Karll-Schwester, der Krankenpfleger
pages=406

*Citation
id = PMID:4882952
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4882952
last=Sulek
first=K
publication-date=1968 Sep 1
year=1968
title= [Nobel prize in 1945 for Alexander Fleming, Ernest Boris Chain and Howard Walter Florey for the discovery of penicillin and its therapeutic effect in infections]
volume=21
issue=15
periodical=Wiad. Lek.
pages=1388-90

*Citation
id = PMID:5342117
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5342117
last=Kenéz
first=J
publication-date=1966 Nov 6
year=1966
title= [E. B. Chain is 60 years old]
volume=107
issue=45
periodical=Orvosi hetilap
pages=2145-7

External links

* [http://www.nobel.se/medicine/laureates/1945/chain-bio.html A biography at Nobel Museum site]


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  • Ernst Boris Chain — nació en 1906 en Berlín (Alemania). En esta ciudad completó sus estudios hasta graduarse en Química, posteriormente su interés por la incipiente bioquímica lo llevó a trabajar en el Instituto de Patología de Berlín. Más tarde se trasladó a… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Ernst Boris Chain — Berliner Gedenktafel in Berlin Moabit (Turmstr. 22, im „Haus der Gesundheit“) Sir Ernst Boris Chain (* 19. Juni 1906 in Berlin; † 12. August 1979 in Castlebar, Irland) war ein deutsch britischer Biochemiker und Bakt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ernst Boris Chain — Sir Ernst Boris Chain (19 juin 1906 12 août 1979) était un biochimiste allemand, naturalisé britannique qui fut en 1945 colauréat avec Alexander Fleming et Howard Florey du prix Nobel de physiologie ou médecine pour son travail sur la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ernst Boris Chain — noun British biochemist (born in Germany) who isolated and purified penicillin, which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming (1906 1979) • Syn: ↑Chain, ↑Sir Ernst Boris Chain • Instance Hypernyms: ↑biochemist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sir Ernst Boris Chain — noun British biochemist (born in Germany) who isolated and purified penicillin, which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming (1906 1979) • Syn: ↑Chain, ↑Ernst Boris Chain • Instance Hypernyms: ↑biochemist …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Chain, Sir Ernst Boris — (19 jun. 1906, Berlín, Alemania–12 ago. 1979, Irlanda). Bioquímico británico de origen alemán. Junto con Howard Walter Florey aisló y purificó la penicilina y realizó los primeros ensayos clínicos con el antibiótico. En 1945, Chain, Florey y… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Chain,Sir Ernst Boris — Chain (chān), Sir Ernst Boris. 1906 1979. German born British biochemist. He isolated and purified penicillin; for this achievement he shared a 1945 Nobel Prize with Sir Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin in 1928. * * * …   Universalium

  • Chain, Sir Ernst Boris — born June 19, 1906, Berlin, Ger. died Aug. 12, 1979, Ire. German born British biochemist. With Howard Walter Florey he isolated and purified penicillin and performed the first clinical trials of the antibiotic. For their pioneering work, Chain,… …   Universalium


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