John Kendrew

English biochemist and crystallographer

Sir John Cowdery Kendrew CBE FRS (24 March 1917– 23 August 1997) was an English biochemist and crystallographer.

John Kendrew
John Kendrew Nobel.jpg
John Kendrew
Born24 March 1917
Died23 August 1997(1997-08-23) (aged 80)
NationalityUnited Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Known forHaeme-containing proteins
AwardsNobel Prize in Chemistry (1962)
Scientific career
FieldsCrystallography
InstitutionsRoyal Air Force
Doctoral advisorMax Perutz

He shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Max Perutz. Their group in the Cavendish Laboratory was the first to determine the structure of proteins, using X-ray crystallography. He was also a Fellow (teacher) at Peterhouse College in Cambridge.

In what became the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Kendrew determined the structure of the protein myoglobin, which stores oxygen in muscle cells.

He spent the early months of World War II doing research on radar. In 1940 he became engaged in operational research at the Royal Air Force headquarters, holding the honorary rank of Wing Commander R.A.F.

  • John Finch 2008. A Nobel Fellow on every floor. Medical Research Council 2008. ISBN 978-1840469-40-0; this book is about the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge.
John Kendrew with model of myoglobin in progress. Copyright by the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.