John Kendrew

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John Kendrew

John Kendrew
Born 24 March 1917
Oxford, England
Died 23 August 1997(1997-08-23) (aged 80)
Cambridge, England
Nationality United Kingdom
Fields Crystallography
Institutions Royal Air Force
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Max Perutz
Known for Haeme-containing proteins
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1962)

Sir John Cowdery Kendrew CBE FRS (24 March 1917– 23 August 1997) was an English biochemist and crystallographer.

He shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Max Perutz. Their group in the Cavendish Laboratory was the first to determine the structure of proteins, using X-ray crystallography. He was also a Fellow (teacher) at Peterhouse College in Cambridge.

In what became the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Kendrew determined the structure of the protein myoglobin, which stores oxygen in muscle cells.

He spent the early months of World War II doing research on radar. In 1940 he became engaged in operational research at the Royal Air Force headquarters, holding the honorary rank of Wing Commander R.A.F.


  • John Finch 2008. A Nobel Fellow on every floor. Medical Research Council 2008. ISBN 978-1840469-40-0; this book is about the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge.
John Kendrew with model of myoglobin in progress. Copyright by the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.


This person won a Nobel Prize