Anfinsen, Christian

Anfinsen, Christian (Boehmer)

(1916–  ) biochemist; born in Monessen, Pa. He was affiliated with the National Institutes of Health (1949–62, 1963–82). In 1962, he showed that the structure of active ribonuclease is physiologically the most stable arrangement of amino acids and that the sequence of amino acids determines its function. For this work, begun in the mid-1940s, he shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry (1972). In 1972 he began working on interferon, eventually isolating the substance. He was appointed professor of biology at Johns Hopkins (1982).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.