John Kendrew

1917 (Oxford) – 1997 (Cambridge, England)

Kendrew and Perutz were instrumental in establishing the field of molecular biology, and shared a Nobel prize for their pioneering work on proteins. He met Bernal – influential on his career – in the jungle in Sri Lanka during WWll; he also met Waddington and Pauling during this period. Meeting Luria at a conference led to Watson’s invitation to work in Cambridge, initially as Kendrew’s myoglobin assistant. Weisskopf and Szilard proposed a European Molecular Biology Organisation, whose enthusiastic leader he became (with Jacob a fellow founding member). Monod hand-delivered a paper; Steinbeck was met in Stockholm at the Nobel presentations.

John Kendrew knew…

Louis Pasteur

1822 (Dôle, France) – 1895 (Marnes la Coquette)

Pasteur got the aged Biot’s crucial support after demonstrating the handedness of tartaric acid crystals. Bernard collaborated on the invention of pasteurisation, Roux on development of the rabies vaccine, and Duclaux, a close friend, on the study of silkworm disease. The carelessness of his assistant Chamberland led to his advances in immunisation. Lister applied his discoveries in establishing modern antiseptic surgery, and visited him on his 50th birthday. Mechnikov travelled from Odessa to ask his advice, and was given a job and laboratory for the rest of his life. Koch and Pasteur had a bitter dispute about vaccination.