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Defining Moment
Heck
Photo: Holger Motzkau/Wikimedia Commons

Richard F. Heck Ph.D.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2010
Nobel co-recipients Ei-ichi Negishizz, Akira Suzuki

Physical organic chemist. Palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reaction. Sole author - 7 consecutive papers. Heck reaction: important concept, tool for organic and medicinal chemists; fuorescence labeling of DNA bases - sequencing DNA/Genome. Thinner computer screens in future. "Great art in test tube."

Growing orchids in early teens lead to passion for chemistry.

Defining Moment

Elion
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Gertrude B. Elion M.S.[Chemisty]

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1988
National Medal of Science - Chemistry 1991

Chemist, Pharmacologist. Discovered principles for drug treatment; developed drugs - anticancer, immunosuppressive, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-gout, anti-malarial. Purines.

"I was a child with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. My beloved grandfather died of cancer when I was 15. I was highly motivated to discover a cure for this terrible disease".

Defining Moment

Robert Lefkowitz
Drawing: Newton Llorente

Herbert C Brown Ph.D.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1979
The President's National Medel of Sciences - Physical Sciences, 1969

Organic Chemist. Development of use of boron into important reagents in organic synthesis. School, advanced several times, graduating at 12; refused further advancement, avoiding being sister's classmate.

Graduating, Depression years, future wife Sarah gave him gift, Stock's 'Hydrides of Boron and Silicon' because cheapest chemistry book! Led to Nobel Prize!

Humor/Defining Moment

Nathans
Daniel Nathans as teenager, leaning on tree stump, 1942-1945.Photo: National Library of Medicine, USA

Daniel M. Nathans M.D.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1978
Nobel co-recipients Werner Arber, Hamilton O. Smith
National Medal of Science - Biological Sciences 1993

Physician, Molecular Biologist - Genetics. Restriction enzymes and their application to molecular genetics. Groundwork for human genome project, drug insulin. Able administrator - high signal-to-noise ratio.

"Valuable internship year in medicine with masterful clinician Robert Loeb; The glimpses of human strength and frailty that a physician sees are still with me."

Defining Moments

Nathans
Photo: Wikimedia commons

Fritz A. Lipmann M.D.,Ph.D.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1953
Co-Nobelist Hans Krebs
National Medal of Science - Biological Sciences 1966

Physician, Biochemist. Discovered co-enzyme A, its importance for intermediary metabolism. Identified serine phosphate as constituent of phosphoproteins which contain phosphate. CMP represents metabolically active carbamyl donor.

Liljestrand, Science Academy: …Regarding fundamental discoveries laymen ask for immediate practical application. Counter question of Benjamin Franklin: Of what use is a new-born baby?

Defining Moments

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