Herbert Aaron Hauptman

Prof. Dr. Herbert Aaron Hauptman

Nationality
United States 
Institution
Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute Inc. 
Award
1985 
Discipline
Chemistry 
Co-recipients
Prof. Dr. Jerome Karle 

Biography on the Official Web Site of the Nobel Prize

CURRICULUM VITAE

Born on February 14th, 1917 in New York. Having studied mathematics and physics in New York, Hauptman became particularly interested in crystalline matter, and focused his research activities on determining its structure with the help of X-rays and electron beams. In 1970, he was awarded a professorship in biophysics at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Two years later, he became a vice-president and Research Director of the Medical Foundation in Buffalo.

Together with Jerome Karle, Hauptman received the Nobel Prize in 1985 “for their outstanding achievements in the development of direct methods for the determination of crystal structures”. As physicists, they discovered ways of determining the structure of crystallised molecules, and thus also the form and construction principles of “smaller” natural substance molecules, from X-ray interference data, for instance of antibodies or receptors. They have therefore made a significant contribution to the progress made in biochemistry in the search for the molecular mechanism of reactions and the decisive structural changes that take place in these reactions. They not only developed a system of equations, but also a procedure for solving them “directly” based on the measurement values obtained from bending beams.

A vital prerequisite was the huge volume of experimental data, which allowed statistical methods to be applied. Hauptman’s work stretches back to the 1950s, when he was investigating the structure of inorganic crystals using the “Patterson Diffraction” method, whereby he found a way of overcoming the difficulties caused by phase displacement.

Cite


Specify width: px

Share

Herbert Aaron Hauptman

Cite


Specify width: px

Share