Robert Bruce Merrifield

About Robert Bruce Merrifield

Who is it?: Biochemist
Birth Day: July 15, 1921
Birth Place: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Alma mater: UCLA (Ph.D., 1949)
Known for: solid phase peptide synthesis
Awards: Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (1969) Gairdner Foundation International Award (1970) Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1984) Glenn T. Seaborg Medal (1993) Chemical Pioneer Award (1993)
Fields: biochemistry

Robert Bruce Merrifield

Robert Bruce Merrifield was born on July 15, 1921 in Fort Worth, Texas, United States, is Biochemist. Robert Bruce Merrifield was an American biochemist who was awarded the 1984 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of methodology for chemical synthesis on a solid matrix. His ingenious discovery for quick protein synthesis aided in streamlining numerous scientific experiments. Interested in science as a child, he went on to take up a Bachelor degree in Chemistry and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles. He then joined the Rockfeller Institute for Medical Research and remained there in various posts throughout his career, eventually becoming the John D. Rockefeller professor in 1984. As a result of his research, he developed the solid phase peptide synthesis, a method that allowed the systematic study of protein structure. A few years later he also developed a machine for automation thereby simplifying and quickening the process. Other than the Nobel Prize, he was the recipient of prestigious awards as the Gairdner Foundation International Award, Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research and the Chemical Pioneer Award. He was inducted as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1972. An author of several papers for numerous science journals, he had also published a semiautobiographical titled ‘Life during a Golden Age of Peptide Chemistry: the Concept and Development of Solid-Phase Peptide Synthesis’.
Robert Bruce Merrifield is a member of Scientists

Does Robert Bruce Merrifield Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Robert Bruce Merrifield has been died on May 14, 2006(2006-05-14) (aged 84)\nCresskill, New Jersey.

🎂 Robert Bruce Merrifield - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Robert Bruce Merrifield die, Robert Bruce Merrifield was 84 years old.

Popular As Robert Bruce Merrifield
Occupation Scientists
Age 84 years old
Zodiac Sign Leo
Born July 15, 1921 (Fort Worth, Texas, United States)
Birthday July 15
Town/City Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Robert Bruce Merrifield’s zodiac sign is Leo. According to astrologers, people born under the sign of Leo are natural born leaders. They are dramatic, creative, self-confident, dominant and extremely difficult to resist, able to achieve anything they want to in any area of life they commit to. There is a specific strength to a Leo and their "king of the jungle" status. Leo often has many friends for they are generous and loyal. Self-confident and attractive, this is a Sun sign capable of uniting different groups of people and leading them as one towards a shared cause, and their healthy sense of humor makes collaboration with other people even easier.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Robert Bruce Merrifield was born in the Year of the Rooster. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rooster are practical, resourceful, observant, analytical, straightforward, trusting, honest, perfectionists, neat and conservative. Compatible with Ox or Snake.

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He was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on 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.


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.


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 (SPPS) 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". This article is the fifth most cited paper in the journal's history.


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 basis 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." He received the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities Award for outstanding contributions to Biomolecular Technologies in 1998.


After a long illness R. Bruce Merrifield died on May 14, 2006 at the age of 84 in his home in Cresskill, New Jersey. He is survived by his wife, children and 16 grandchildren.

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