Richard Henderson at Nobel Prize conference in Stockholm, December 2017
|Known for||Cryo-electron microscopy|
|Awards||Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2017)|
Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (1993)
|Institutions||Laboratory of Molecular Biology|
|Thesis||X-ray analysis of α-chymotrysin : substrate and inhibitor binding (1970)|
|Doctoral advisor||David Mervyn Blow|
Richard Henderson CH FRS FMedSci HonFRSC (born 19 July 1945) is a Scottish molecular biologist and biophysicist. He is a pioneer in the field of electron microscopy of biological molecules. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2017 with Jacques Dubochet and Joachim Frank.
Henderson has worked at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB) in Cambridge since 1973, and was its director between 1996 and 2006. He was also a visiting professor at the Miller Institute of the University of California, Berkeley in Spring 1993.
He worked out the structure of bacteriorhodopsin, a molecule in bacteria. The molecule captures energy from light, and uses it to move protons out of the cell. This was the second ever atomic model of a membrane protein. The techniques Henderson developed for electron crystallography are still in use.
Henderson's methods help to solve the structures of several G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs). They are a large protein family of receptors that detect molecules outside the cell. They activate internal signal transduction pathways. This leads to cell responses to the molecules outside the cell.