Kendrew, John Cowdery

Kendrew, John Cowdery,

1917–97, British biochemist, grad. Cambridge (Ph.D. 1949). He was a fellow of Peterhouse College at Cambridge from 1947 to 1975 and was scientific adviser to the British ministry of defense from 1960 to 1964. Kendrew was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Max PerutzPerutz, Max Ferdinand,
1914–2002, British molecular biologist, b. Vienna. One of the pioneers in the field of molecular biology, Perutz studied chemistry at the Univ. of Vienna (1932–36) and then at Cambridge (Ph.D.
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 for their studies of the structures of globular proteins. Kendrew's work focused on blood chemistry, and he is credited with pioneering the use of X-ray crystallographyX-ray crystallography,
the study of crystal structures through X-ray diffraction techniques. When an X-ray beam bombards a crystalline lattice in a given orientation, the beam is scattered in a definite manner characterized by the atomic structure of the lattice.
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 to determine the complex structure of proteins.

Kendrew, John Cowdery


Born Mar. 24, 1917, in Compton, Berkshire. English biochemist, specialist in molecular biology. Fellow of the Royal Society of London since 1960.

Kendrew graduated from Cambridge University in 1939. Since 1946 he has worked at Cambridge on uncoding the structure of protein molecules by the method of X-ray analysis. In 1957 he became the first to determine the spatial arrangement of polypeptide chains in a myoglobin molecule; in 1959 he established its detailed structure, confirming the presence of α-spirals, which had been predicted in 1951 by L. Pauling. Kendrew is the founder and editor in chief of the Journal of Molecular Biology. In 1962 he won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, jointly with M. Perutz.


British Biochemistry, Past and Present. Cambridge, 1970.
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