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…

Francis Crick

1916 (Weston Favell, England) – 2004 (San Diego, Calif.)

Crick, who dominated the field of molecular biology, was jointly responsible for discovering the structure of DNA, as well as setting out the principles of the genetic code. Perutz (his PhD supervisor), Kendrew, Sanger and Klug were close colleagues, with Watson and Brenner his key collaborators. Wilkins (who shared the Nobel prize) was a friend despite professional tensions, but Crick thought Franklin too cautious for her own good. His many friends and correspondents included Delbrück, Pauling, Haldane, Waddington, Bernal and Popper. Gamow joked that having had a lot of practice decoding proteins, he had almost succeeded in decoding Crick’s handwriting.

Francis Crick knew…

  • Jacob Bronowski
  • Peter Whitehead
  • John Steinbeck
  • Peter Medawar
  • James Watson
  • Michael McClure
  • Jacques Monod
  • Max Perutz
  • John Kendrew
  • Rosalind Franklin
  • Maurice Wilkins
  • Lawrence Bragg
  • Sydney Brenner
  • Aaron Klug
  • Christof Koch
  • Max Delbrück
  • George Gamow
  • Fred Sanger
  • J. B. S. Haldane
  • Arthur Kornberg
  • Jonas Salk
  • Severo Ochoa
  • Igor Tamm
  • Warren Weaver
  • Har Gobind Khorana
  • Marshall W. Nirenberg
  • Edward L. Tatum
  • Robert W. Holley
  • Linus Pauling
  • C. H. Waddington
  • J. D. Bernal
  • François Jacob
  • Ernst Mayr
  • Karl Popper
  • Erwin Chargaff
  • Honor Fell