From 2001 to 2004, Kurt Wüthrich works as Visiting Professor of Structural Biology at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California. In 2004, he becomes Professor of Structural Biology.
Kurt Wüthrich continues his studies at the University of Basel where he completes his major in sports and earns a Ph.D. in Chemistry. The subject of his Ph.D. thesis in inorganic chemistry with Professor Silvio Fallab is the catalytic activity of copper compounds in autoxidation reactions. For this project, it is a great opportunity the availability of a state-of-the-art Electronic Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectrometer in the Physics Institute.
Kurt Wüthrich joins the Biophysics Department of R. G. Shulman at the Bell Telephone Laboratories. He is responsable for the maintenance of one of the first superconducting high resolution NMR spectrometers, which operates at a proton resonance frequency of 220 MHz. He employs it for research on protein structure and function. He focuses on metal centers rather than on polypeptide chains, and all his initial projects in high resolution NMR has to do with hemoproteins.
Kurt Wüthrich studies chemistry, physics, and mathematics at the University of Bern. During his student years, NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectroscopy is beeing introduced as an analytical tool in chemistry, molecular biology is not yet established as an independent discipline, and the initial three-dimensional protein crystal structures are just emerging.
Kurt Wüthrich makes his first trip to India. This trip is the beginning of an intense travelling activity, which results in furthering professional relationships.
Kurt Wüthrich starts Gymnasium in the bilingue city of Biel/Bienne. At age 14 to 18, he is part of a group of seven students specialising in natural sciences who are trained in mathematics and physics at university level. During those years, he gets used to working through the nights. He studies the French language and culture, and he develops an interest in competitive sports. These areas all play an important role in his life up to the present day.
Kurt Wüthrich makes a first round-the-world trip including stops in the USA and in Japan. The outcomes of this trip are new friendships with local colleagues, and a number of talented postdoctoral fellows to Zürich. Over the years, he will be visiting the University of California, Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, RIKEN in Tokyo, and the University of Edinburgh.
Kurt Wüthrich joins Professor R. E. Connick at the University of California at Berkeley, for postdoctoral training. This period is devoted to intensive work on the theory of nuclear spin relaxation, group theory and quantum mechanics, which is motivated by B. Connick's weekly group seminar, a graduate course on "Group Theory and Quantum Mechanics" by Professor M. Tinkham, and an intense collaboration with another Swiss postdoc, A. von Zelewsky.
Kurt Wüthrich is born in Aarberg, Switzerland. He spends his childhood in the small town of Lyss in the Berner Seeland. His first interests are largely influenced by living in an old farmhouse. The intense contacts with the rural environment awakens his interest in natural science at an early age. In particular, he acquires a thorough knowledge of the behavior of all sorts of water animals, mostly through observations made on a private trout river.
Kurt Wüthrich receives one half of the Nobel Prize "for his development of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for determining the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules in solution." The other half of the prize goes to John B. Fenn and Koichi Tanaka.
Kurt Wüthrich does a postdoctoral training at University of Basel.
From 1957 to 1962 Wüthrich spends part of each winter as a ski instructor in Swiss mountain resorts. From 1959 to 1965, he has part-time jobs in high schools: teaching physics at the Kantonsschule Solothurn, chemistry at the Gymnasium Biel, and gymnastics at the Mädchengymnasium in Basel. These experiences have an important impact on his personal life. In 1961, while working as a ski instructor in the resort town of Saanenmöser, Kurt Wüthrich mets his wife, Marianne Briner. They get married in 1963.
Kurt Wüthrich is back to Switzerland to join the ETH Zürich. In 1970, he is Privatdozent, in 1972 Assistant Professor, in 1976 Associate Professor, and from 1980 Professor of Biophysics. From 1995 to 2000 he is also Chairman of the Biology Department. In Zürich, he continues research on hemoproteins with the use of NMR and EPR spectroscopy. In addition, he starts a program of systematic studies on the application of NMR techniques with polypeptides and small proteins.