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Ernst Chain

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Sir Ernst Boris Chain
Ernst Boris Chain (1945)
Born(1906-06-19)19 June 1906
Berlin, Germany
Died12 August 1979(1979-08-12) (aged 73)
Castlebar, Ireland
CitizenshipGerman (until 1939)
British (from 1939)
Alma materFriedrich Wilhelm University
Known forThe development of Penicillin
SpouseAnne Beloff-Chain (m. 1948–1979, his death)
ChildrenBenjamin and Danny[1]
AwardsNobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1945)
Fellow of the Royal Society (1948)
Knight Bachelor(1969)
Scientific career
InstitutionsImperial College London
University of Cambridge
University of Oxford
Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Sir Ernst Boris Chain, FRS[2] (19 June 1906 – 12 August 1979) was a German-born British biochemist.[3]

He shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, with Alexander Fleming and Howard Florey, for the discovery of penicillin and how it could cure bacterial infections.[4] Later he worked on the chemical structure of penicillin and other natural antibiotics.

Chain was Jewish, and moved to England in 1933. In 1939 he took British citizenship, and was knighted in 1969.

He won many awards: he was made a Commander of the Légion d'Honneur and awarded the Grande Ufficiale al Merito della Repubblica Italiana.

Life and career[change | change source]

Chain was born in Berlin, the son of Margarete (née Eisner) and Michael Chain, who was a chemist and industrialist dealing in chemical products.[5][6] His family was Jewish. His father emigrated from Russia to study chemistry abroad and his mother was from Berlin.[7] In 1930, he received his degree in chemistry from Friedrich Wilhelm University. He left Nazi Germany and worked at universities and laboratories in England.

References[change | change source]

  1. New Scientist. Reed Business Information. 16 January 1986. p. 51. ISSN 0262-4079.[permanent dead link]
  2. Abraham, Edward (1983). "Ernst Boris Chain. 19 June 1906-12 August 1979". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 29: 42–91. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1983.0003. JSTOR 769796. S2CID 58175504.
  3. "Biography of Ernst Chain". The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  4. "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1945". The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  5. "Ernst B. Chain". nobelprize.org. 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  6. Forder, Arderne A. (1984). The more ye mow us down the more we grow: antibiotics in perspective. University of Cape Town. ISBN 9780799209501.
  7. Oakes, Elizabeth H. (2002). Chain, Sir Ernst Boris (1906–1979) German/English Biochemist. Infobase. ISBN 9781438109251. Retrieved 29 May 2023. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • Medawar, Jean: Pyke, David (2012). Hitler's Gift: The True Story of the Scientists Expelled by the Nazi Regime (Paperback). New York: Arcade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61145-709-4.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Other websites[change | change source]