Northrop, John Howard

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Northrop, John Howard,

1891–1987, American chemist, b. Yonkers, N.Y., Ph.D. Columbia, 1915. He was a researcher at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller Univ.) from 1916 until his retirement in 1961. Northrop shared the 1946 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with James SumnerSumner, James Batcheller,
1887–1955, American biochemist, b. Canton, Mass., Ph.D. Harvard Medical School, 1914. He was a professor at Cornell from 1914 until his death in 1955.
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 and Wendell StanleyStanley, William Meredith,
1904–71, American biochemist, b. Ridgeville, Ind., Ph.D. Univ. of Illinois, 1929. He was a professor at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller Univ.) from 1932 to 1948 and at the Univ.
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 for their work on enzymesenzyme,
biological catalyst. The term enzyme comes from zymosis, the Greek word for fermentation, a process accomplished by yeast cells and long known to the brewing industry, which occupied the attention of many 19th-century chemists.
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 and virusesvirus,
parasite with a noncellular structure composed mainly of nucleic acid within a protein coat. Most viruses are too small (100–2,000 Angstrom units) to be seen with the light microscope and thus must be studied by electron microscopes.
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. Building on earlier work by Sumner, who had demonstrated that enzymes can be crystallized, Northrop isolated and crystallized a number of biologically important enzymes, including pepsin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, ribonuclease, and deoxyribonuclease, and provided indisputable evidence that they are proteins.

Northrop, John Howard


Born July 5, 1891, in Yon-kers, N. Y. American biochemist.

In 1912, Northrop graduated from Columbia University, where he received the Ph.D. degree in 1915. From 1915 to 1962 he worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. His main works deal with the biochemistry of enzymes. Together with his co-workers, he was the first to isolate proteolytic enzymes in crystalline form, including pepsin (1930) and trypsin (1932). He was also the first to isolate a bacteria virus and diphtheria antitoxin. Following up the work of J. B. Sumner, he showed that enzymes are proteins. Northrop won a Nobel Prize in 1946, together with W. M. Stanley and J. B. Sumner.


In Russian translation:
Kristallicheskie fermenty. Moscow, 1950. (Coauthored by M. Kunitz and R. Herriott.)
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