Max Perutz

1914 (Vienna) – 2002 (Cambridge, England)

Besides decoding the structure of haemoglobin, Perutz made significant advances in crystallography and glaciology, and built up a world-beating research laboratory. He studied under Bernal and Bragg, having gone to Cambridge on Mark’s advice. Bondi and Gold were fellow-internees in Canada. Lehrmann’s collection of haemoglobins proved a treasure trove. Crick and Watson may be the best-known among his molecular-biology research team, but Nobels were also won by himself (with his colleague Kendrew), Sanger, Brenner, Klug, Walker, Kornberg, and Fire. Sanger said he couldn’t understand Perutz’s work, but in an understatement said he was a very good leader.

Max Perutz knew…

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…