John C. Kendrew


John Cowdery Kendrew

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

John Cowdery Kendrew
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1962

Born: 24 March 1917, Oxford, United Kingdom

Died: 23 August 1997, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Affiliation at the time of the award: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Prize motivation: “for their studies of the structures of globular proteins”

Prize share: 1/2


When X-rays pass through a crystalline structure, the patterns formed can be captured as photographic images, which are then used to determine the crystal's structure. During the 1930s, this method was used to map increasingly large and complex molecules. In 1957, John Kendrew became the first person to successfully determine the atomic structure of a protein. He had unlocked the structure of myoglobin, an oxygen-storing protein found in muscle cells.

To cite this section
MLA style: John C. Kendrew – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Sat. 3 Jun 2023. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Fourteen laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2022, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from paleogenomics and click chemistry to documenting war crimes.

See them all presented here.
Nobel Prizes 2022

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.