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Encyclopedia > Robert Bruce Merrifield

Robert Bruce Merrifield (July 15, 1921May 14, 2006) was an American biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1984. [1] July 15 is the 196th day (197th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 169 days remaining. ... 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... May 14 is the 134th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (135th in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Biochemistry is the chemistry of life. ... This is a list of Nobel Prize laureates in Chemistry from 1901 to the present day. ... See also: Other events of 1984 List of years in science . ...


Early Life

He was born in Fort Worth, Texas, 15 July, 1921, the only son of George E. Merrifield and Lorene née Lucas. In 1923 the family moved to California where he attended nine grade schools and two high schools before graduating from Montebello High School in 1939. It was there that he developed an interest both in chemistry and in astronomy. Fort Worth is the sixth-largest city in the state of Texas, located about 30 miles west of Dallas on the West Fork Trinity River and forming part of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. ... Official language(s) See: Languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 268,581 sq mi (695,622 km²)  - Width 660 miles (1,065 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... (Redirected from 15 July) July 15 is the 196th day (197th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 169 days remaining. ... 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Chemistry (derived from alchemy) is the science of matter at or near the atomic scale. ... Radio telescopes are among many different tools used by astronomers Astronomy (Greek: αστρονομία = άστρον + νόμος, astronomia = astron + nomos, literally, law of the stars) is the science of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the Earths atmosphere, such as stars, planets, comets, auroras, galaxies, and the cosmic background radiation. ...

After two years at Pasadena Junior College he transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). After graduation in chemistry he worked for a year at the Philip R. Park Research Foundation taking care of an animal colony and assisting with growth experiments on synthetic amino acid diets. One of these was the experiment by Geiger that first demonstrated that the essential amino acids must be present simultaneously for growth to occur. The University of California, Los Angeles, popularly known as UCLA, is a public, coeducational university situated in the neighborhood of Westwood within the city of Los Angeles. ... An amino acid residue is what is left of an amino acid once a molecule of water has been lost (an H+ from the nitrogenous side and an OH- from the carboxylic side) in the formation of a peptide bond. ...

He returned to graduate school at the UCLA chemistry department with professor of biochemistry M.S. Dunn to develop microbiological methods for the quantitation of the pyrimidines. The day after graduating on 19 June 1949, he married Elizabeth Furlong and the next day left for New York City and the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. Pyrimidine is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound similar to benzene and pyridine, containing two nitrogen atoms at positions 1 and 3 of the six-member ring. ... June 19 is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 195 days remaining. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... Flag Seal Nickname: The Big Apple, The Capital of the World[1], Gotham [2], Metropolis Location Location in the state of New York Government Counties (Boroughs) Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,214. ...


At the Institute, later Rockefeller University, he worked as an Assistant for Dr. D.W. Woolley on a dinucleotide growth factor he discovered in graduate school and on peptide growth factors that Woolley had discovered earlier. These studies led to the need for peptide synthesis and, eventually, to the idea for solid phase peptide synthesis in 1959. In 1963, he was sole author of a classic paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society in which he reported a method he called solid phase peptide synthesis, which is the fifth most cited paper in the journal's history. Rockefeller University is a private university focusing primarily on graduate education and research in the biomedical fields, located between 63rd and 68th street on York Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan island in New York City, New York. ... It has been suggested that solid phase peptide synthesis be merged into this article or section. ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

In the mid-60s Dr. Merrifield's laboratory first synthesized bradykinin, angiotensin, desamino-oxytocin and insulin. In 1969, he and his colleague Bernd Gutte announced the first synthesis of the enzyme, ribonuclease A. This work proved the chemical nature of enzymes.

Dr. Merrifield's method greatly stimulated progress in biochemistry, pharmacology and medicine, making possible the systematic exploration of the structural bases of the activities of enzymes, hormones and antibodies. The development and applications of the technique continued to occupy his laboratory, where he remained active at the bench until recently. In 1993, he published his autobiography, "Life during a Golden Age of Peptide Chemistry."

Personal Life

After raising their six children, James, Nancy, Betsy, Cathy, Laurie and Sally, his wife Elizabeth (Libby), a biologist by training, joined the Merrifield laboratory at Rockefeller University where she worked for over 23 years.

After a long illness R. Bruce Merrifield passed away on Sunday, May 14, 2006 at the age of 84. He is survived by his wife, children and 16 grandchildren. May 14 is the 134th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (135th in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer "Bruce Merrifield, Nobel Prize winner, dies" 19 May 2006 retrieved 20 May 2006
  • Nobel Prize biography of Bruce Merrifield

  Results from FactBites:
Merrifield, R(obert) Bruce - Hutchinson encyclopedia article about Merrifield, R(obert) Bruce (270 words)
Merrifield and his co-workers later reached another milestone when they synthesized the enzyme ribonuclease, which contains 124 amino acids.
Merrifield worked on the synthesis of peptides, important biological molecules consisting of chains of amino acids, and in the early 1960s developed the method of manufacturing proteins known as ‘solid phase peptide synthesis’.
Merrifield was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and educated at the University of California at Los Angeles, gaining his doctorate in 1949.
  More results at FactBites »



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