Frederick Sanger

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Sanger, Frederick

(săng`ər), 1918–2013, British biochemist, grad. Cambridge (B.A., 1939; Ph.D., 1943). He continued his research at Cambridge after 1943. He won the 1958 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies on insulin, accomplishing the first determination of the amino acid sequence (primary structure) of a protein of the insulin molecule. Sanger joined the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England, in 1962, and in 1977 he became the first scientist to decode the genome of an organism when he sequenced a virus's DNA. That work also demonstrated that the virus had overlapping genes. In 1980, he shared the Nobel Prize (with Paul BergBerg, Paul,
1926–, American biologist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Western Reserve Univ., 1952. A professor at Washington Univ. at St. Louis and Stanford Univ., he shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics (with Walter Gilbert and Frederick Sanger) for his work with recombinant
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 and Walter GilbertGilbert, Walter,
1932–, American molecular biologist, b. Boston, Ph.D. Cambridge, 1957. In 1968 he became a professor of biophysics at Harvard, where he had taught since 1959.
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) for developing a method, important in genomic research and to the development of production of drugs by genetically modified organisms, for rapidly determining the chemical structure of pieces of DNA. The only person to receive two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, he has been called the father of genomics for his accomplishments in the sequencing of DNA. He retired in 1983.

Sanger, Frederick


Born Aug. 13, 1918, in Rendcombe, Gloucestershire. British biochemist. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1954).

Sanger graduated from Cambridge University in 1939 and received the Ph.D. degree there in 1943. In 1944 he became a member of the Medical Research Council at Cambridge and in 1951, head of the protein chemistry section of the molecular biology laboratory at Cambridge University. His research has dealt primarily with determining the molecular structure of proteins and nucleic acids. Sanger was the first to establish the primary structure of insulin, that is, the sequential arrangement of amino acids. He is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1958). Sanger was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1958.


“Structure of Insulin.” In Symposia of the Society for Experimental Biology, 1955, vol. 9.