William H. Stein


William H. Stein

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

William H. Stein
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1972

Born: 25 June 1911, New York, NY, USA

Died: 2 February 1980, New York, NY, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA

Prize motivation: “for their contribution to the understanding of the connection between chemical structure and catalytic activity of the active centre of the ribonuclease molecule”

Prize share: 1/4


The genetic information of an organism is stored in DNA molecules which, via RNA molecules, are converted during the formation of proteins. The chemical processes inside cells are controlled by a type of protein called enzymes. William Stein and Stanford Moore studied the enzyme ribonuclease, which divides RNA into smaller components. In the late 1950s, the pair succeeded in providing a detailed understanding of the enzyme's active center and in elucidating the connection between the structure of the molecule and its ability to speed up biochemical reactions.

To cite this section
MLA style: William H. Stein – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Wed. 24 Jul 2024. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/1972/stein/facts/>

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

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

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