Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1982
Born: 11 August 1926, Zelvas, Lithuania
Died: 20 November 2018
Affiliation at the time of the award: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for his development of crystallographic electron microscopy and his structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes."
Prize share: 1/1
One important tool in the mapping of biologically important substances is x-ray crystallography, in which x-rays create diffraction patterns that allow scientists to determine their structures. In electron microscopy, beams of electrons create images of microscopic phenomena. During the 1960s, Aaron Klug combined methods from x-ray crystallography with electron microscopy in order to study complex structures of DNA and proteins in organisms such as various viruses and in chromatin, which forms the chromosomes inside cell nuclei.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.