Structural Biochemistry/Frederick Sanger


Frederick Sanger, a biochemist from England, was twice awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on protein sequencing and DNA sequencing.

Personal LifeEdit

Frederick Sanger was born on August 13, 1918 in Rendcombe, England to Frederick and Cicely Sanger. He was one of three children, and was heavily influenced by his father, a stark Quaker and medical practitioner. From 1932 to 1936 Sanger attended the Bryanston School in Dorset, which employed the Dalton system and supported liberal regime. After receiving his B.A. in 1939 from Cambridge University, he chose to stay and complete in pH.D in biochemistry in 1943 under Albert Neuberger, where he delved into the chemistry behind lysine, an amino acid. During his time at Cambridge Sanger, who is a strong believer in Pacifism, joined the Peace Pledge Union, where he met his wife Joan Howe, a student of economics at Newnham College.

Nobel Prize of 1958Edit

After Sanger completed his education in 1943, he joined Charles Chibnall's research group, where he studied the amino acid composition of bovine insulin. His efforts proved successful as he determined the amino acid sequence of of two polypeptide chains of insulin, suggesting that proteins do in fact have a definite chemical composition. By using the Sanger Reagent, or fluorodinitrobenzene he could hydrolyze the insulin into smaller peptide chains, which were fractionated by electrophoresis and chromatography. Those fragments were recognized by ninhydrin and appeared as fingerprints. Sanger determined a technique for ordering amino acids, and in 1958 was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for presenting the complete structure of insulin.

Nobel Prize of 1980Edit

In 1977 Sanger developed the Sanger Method, or dideoxy chain method for sequencing DNA molecules. This breakthrough was significant as it allowed scientists to sequence long stretches of DNA rapidly and accurately, and eventually was utilized for sequencing the Human Genome. He shared his prize of determining base sequences in nucleic acids with Walter Gilbert and Paul Berg.


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"Concept 23A Gene Is a Discrete Sequence of DNA Nucleotides." Frederick Sanger. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. <>.

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