Portrait of Sir John Cornforth

Portrait of Sir John Cornforth

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Sir John Cornforth (b.1917), Australian chemist and Nobel Laureate. Cornforth was educated at Sydney, Australia, then at Oxford. During World War Two he worked on the structure of penicillin, and in 1946 joined the Medical Research Council staff. After the synthesis of cholesterol had been announced in 1951, Cornforth became interested in how it was produced in the body. Using labelled isotopes of hydrogen, he traced the numerous steps used by cells to convert acetic acid into cholesterol. Cornforth shared the 1975 Nobel prize for Chemistry for this work. He later took the post of Royal Society Research Professor at Sussex University. Photographed in 1993.

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