Robert Merrifield, US biochemist

Robert Merrifield, US biochemist

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Credit: THE NOBEL FOUNDATION/EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Robert Bruce Merrifield (1921-2006), US biochemist. Merrifield was educated at UCLA, California, and then, in 1949, moved to New York to work at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. Merrifield worked there for the rest of his career. In 1963, he published a landmark paper reporting his method for solid phase peptide synthesis. Peptides are chains of amino acids, and the synthesis of peptides is a crucial step in the study of proteins in the laboratory. It was this work that led to Merrifield being awarded the 1984 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Merrifield and his research group also worked on a range of other syntheses of biochemical molecules, including insulin and the enzyme ribonuclease A.

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