Ernst Boris Chain
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Ernst Boris Chain
|Data 2:|| June 19, 1906|
|Data 3 (data hidden if data3 empty or not defined):|| August 12, 1979|
Chain was born in Berlin to a Russian father who moved from his birthland to study chemistry abroad, and a German Berliner mother. In 1930, he received his degree in chemistry from Friedrich Wilhelm University. After the Nazis came to power, Chain knew that he, being a Jew, would no longer be safe in Germany. He left Germany in 1933 and moved to England.
He began working on phospholipids at Cambridge University under the direction of Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins. In 1935, he accepted a job at Oxford University as a lecturer in pathology. During this time he worked on a range of research topics, including snake venoms, tumour metabolism, lysozymes, and biochemistry techniques.
In 1939, he joined Howard Florey to investigate natural antibacterial agents produced by microorganisms. This led him and Florey to revisit the work of Alexander Fleming, who had described penicillin nine years previously. Chain and Florey went on to discover penicillin's therapeutic action and its chemical composition. It was Chain who worked out how to isolate and concentrate penicillin. He also theorized the structure of penicillin, which was confirmed by x-ray crystallography done by Dorothy Hodgkin. For this research, Chain, Florey, and Fleming received the Nobel Prize in 1945.
Towards the end of World War II, Chain learned his mother and sister had perished in the war. After World War II, Chain moved to Rome, Italy to work at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Superior Institute of Health). He returned to Britain in 1964 as head of the biochemistry department at Imperial College London.
In 1948, he married Anne Beloff, sister of Max Beloff and Nora Beloff. In his later life, his Jewish identity became increasingly important to him. He became a member of the board of governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovot in 1954, and later a member of the executive council. He raised his children securely within the Jewish faith, arranging much extra-curricular tuition for them. His views were expressed most clearly in his speech ‘Why I am a Jew’ given at the World Jewish Congress Conference of Intellectuals in 1965.
After his retirement, he moved to the west of Ireland.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Nobel Lectures, Physiology or Medicine 1942-1962, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1964
- Wennergren, Göran & Lagercrantz, Hugo (2007), ""One sometimes finds what one is not looking for" (Sir Alexander Fleming): the most important medical discovery of the 20th century.", Acta Paediatr. 96 (1): 141-4, 2007 Jan, PMID:17187625, DOI:10.1111/j.1651-2227.2007.00098.x, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17187625>
- Ligon, B Lee (2004), "Penicillin: its discovery and early development.", Seminars in pediatric infectious diseases 15 (1): 52-7, 2004 Jan, PMID:15175995, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15175995>
- Shampo, M A & Kyle, R A (2000), "Ernst Chain--Nobel Prize for work on penicillin.", Mayo Clin. Proc. 75 (9): 882, 2000 Sep, PMID:10994820, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10994820>
- Radetsky, M (1996), "The discovery of penicillin.", Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J. 15 (9): 811-8, 1996 Sep, PMID:8878227, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8878227>
- Joklik, W K (1996), "The story of penicillin: the view from Oxford in the early 1950s.", FASEB J. 10 (4): 525-8, 1996 Mar, PMID:8647352, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8647352>
- Grossman, L I (1987), "The making of an antibiotic.", Endodontics & dental traumatology 3 (3): 91-4, 1987 Jun, PMID:3304987, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3304987>
- Sheppard, J (1983), "Illustrations from the Wellcome Institute Library. The Chain papers.", Medical history 27 (4): 434-5, 1983 Oct, PMID:6358729, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6358729>
- Mansford, K R (1979), "Sir Ernst Chain, 1906-1979.", Nature 281 (5733): 715-7, 1979 Oct 25, PMID:399328, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/399328>
- Abraham, E P (1979), "Obituary: Sir Ernst Boris Chain.", J. Antibiot. 32 (10): 1080-1, 1979 Oct, PMID:393682, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/393682>
- "Ernst Boris Chain.", Lancet 2 (8139): 427, 1979, 1979 Aug 25, PMID:89493, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/89493>
- Wagner, W H (1979), "[In memoriam, Dr. Ernst Boris Chain]", Arzneimittel-Forschung 29 (10): 1645-6, 1979, PMID:391241, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/391241>
- Madden, J L (1973), ""Chance only favours the mind which is prepared".", Surgery, gynecology & obstetrics 136 (3): 444-5, 1973 Mar, PMID:4569743, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4569743>
- "[Nobel Prize winner Chain and penicillin]", Die Agnes Karll-Schwester, der Krankenpfleger 22 (9): 406, 1968, 1968 Sep, PMID:5188004, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5188004>
- Sulek, K (1968), "[Nobel prize in 1945 for Alexander Fleming, Ernest Boris Chain and Howard Walter Florey for the discovery of penicillin and its therapeutic effect in infections]", Wiad. Lek. 21 (15): 1388-90, 1968 Sep 1, PMID:4882952, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4882952>
- Kenéz, J (1966), "[E. B. Chain is 60 years old]", Orvosi hetilap 107 (45): 2145-7, 1966 Nov 6, PMID:5342117, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5342117>
Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine
Johannes Fibiger (1926) · Julius Wagner-Jauregg (1927) · Charles Nicolle (1928) · Christiaan Eijkman / Frederick Hopkins (1929) · Karl Landsteiner (1930) · Otto Warburg (1931) · Charles Sherrington / Edgar Adrian (1932) · Thomas Morgan (1933) · George Whipple / George Minot / William Murphy (1934) · Hans Spemann (1935) · Henry Dale / Otto Loewi (1936) · Albert Szent-Györgyi (1937) · Corneille Heymans (1938) · Gerhard Domagk (1939) · Henrik Dam / Edward Doisy (1943) · Joseph Erlanger / Herbert Gasser (1944) · Alexander Fleming / Ernst Chain / Howard Florey (1945) · Hermann Muller (1946) · Carl Cori / Gerty Cori / Bernardo Houssay (1947) · Paul Müller (1948) · Walter Hess / Egas Moniz (1949) · Edward Kendall / Tadeusz Reichstein / Philip Hench (1950)
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