Wilkins, Maurice Hugh Frederick

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Wilkins, Maurice Hugh Frederick,

1916–2004, British biophysicist, b. New Zealand, Ph.D. Univ. of Birmingham, 1940. He conducted research at the Univ. of St. Andrews, Scotland, and at Kings College, the Univ. of London (from 1946 until his death). In Berkeley, Calif., he worked (1944) for the Manhattan Project on the separation of uranium isotopes for use in atomic bombs. Shortly thereafter, he discontinued his research in nuclear physics to concentrate on problems in molecular biology, particularly the structure of DNA (see nucleic acidnucleic acid,
any of a group of organic substances found in the chromosomes of living cells and viruses that play a central role in the storage and replication of hereditary information and in the expression of this information through protein synthesis.
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). In the early 1950s Wilkins successfully extracted some fibers from a gel of DNA, and began photographing them using X-ray diffraction, but his best sample was passed to another researcher, Rosalind Franklin. On the basis of X-ray photographs prepared by her laboratory that appeared to show a helical molecular structure and from other scientific information, F. H. C. CrickCrick, Francis Harry Compton,
1916–2004, English scientist, grad. University College, London, and Caius College, Cambridge. Crick was trained as a physicist, and from 1940 to 1947 he served as a scientist in the admiralty, where he designed circuitry for naval mines.
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 and J. D. WatsonWatson, James Dewey,
1928–, American biologist and educator, b. Chicago, Ill., grad. Univ. of Chicago, 1947, Ph.D. Univ. of Indiana, 1950. With F. H. C. Crick he began (1951) research on the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) at the Cavendish Laboratory at
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 built a model of the DNA molecule and explained its function. For their work the three men shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.


See his autobiography (2003).

Wilkins, Maurice Hugh Frederick


Born Dec. 15, 1916, in Pongaroa, New Zealand. British biophysicist. Fellow of the Royal Society (1959).

Wilkins graduated from Cambridge University and received a Ph.D. degree from Birmingham University in 1940. In 1945 he taught at St. Andrews University. In 1946 he joined the faculty of King’s College, University of London, where he became a professor and chairman of the department of molecular biology in 1962 and a professor of biophysics in 1970.

Wilkins confirmed the double-helix molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid by using X-ray diffraction analysis. He has conducted research on luminescence and the electron trap theory of phosphorescence and on the biophysics of the nervous system. In 1962, Wilkins won the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine jointly with F. Crick and J. Watson.


Watson, J. D. Dvoinaia spiral’. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from English.)
Olby, R. The Path to the Double Helix. Cambridge, 1974.
References in periodicals archive ?
James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work in 1962.
The prize also went to American Dr James Watson, with whom Prof Crick worked at Cambridge University, and colleague Maurice Wilkins.
In 1962, James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule, one of the great milestones of scientific inquiry.
The story of James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin is still used as an example of "doing science" for high school and college level students.
Watson, best known for co-discovering the structure of DNA, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 with fellow molecular biologists Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins.
Crick along with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins won the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 1962, for their work on discovering the DNA structure.
Maurice Wilkins received the same prize in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA and its importance in transferring information in living material.
FIFTY-ONE years ago, James Watson, Maurice Wilkins, and Francis Crick were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of DNA's structure -- a breakthrough that heralded the age of the gene.
In 1962, the Nobel Prize was awarded to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins (Rosalind Franklin died in 1958) "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material" (2).
Maurice Wilkins, a Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist, instrumental in the discovery of the DNA structure 8.
I created a PowerPoint presentation using information from four scientific classics that describe the race to discover the DNA structure, three written by the protagonists themselves: The Double Helix by James Watson, What Mad Pursuit by Francis Crick, The Third Man of the Double Helix by Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox.