Frederick Sanger


Frederick Sanger

Frederick Sanger is an English biochemist who twice received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry; in 1958 for his discovery of the structure of the insulin molecule, and in 1980 for his collaborative work on base sequences in nucleic acids with Paul Berg and Walter Gilbert. He is widely considered to be the greatest and most influential biochemists in history.

Early Life and Education:

Born in 1918 in Rendcombe, England, Frederick Sanger’s father was a medical practitioner. He understood the significance of science and the scientific method from an early age. He focused on chemistry and physics in the beginning, but was later attracted to the emerging field of biochemistry.

He received an undergraduate degree and PhD in biochemistry from St John’s College, Cambridge, England.

Contributions and Achievements:

After graduation, Frederick Sanger joined the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the university as a researcher. Sanger is the fourth person in history to be awarded two Nobel Prizes. He received the 1958 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his groundbreaking research on protein structure.

Sanger was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry once again in 1980, this time sharing it with Paul Berg and Walter Gilbert for determining the amino acid sequences of DNA information. His later contributions constitute the basic genetic principles utilized by almost every biotechnology application. He has received many other honors for his extraordinary work on genetics and biotechnology.

Later Life:

Sanger retired in 1983 to his house in Swaffham Bulbeck near Cambridge. He rejected the knighthood as he did not wanted to be addressed as “Sir”. However, he accepted the award of O.M. (Order of Merit) in 1986.