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Hans Neurath

Hans Neurath (1909-2002) was a biochemist, a leader in protein chemistry and the founding chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle.


Early life

Hans Neurath was born in Vienna, Austria and received his doctorate in 1933 from the University of Vienna. He then studied in London and at the University of Minnesota.

In 1938, Neurath was appointed to a position at Duke University, where he established a research program on the physical chemistry of proteins.

Scientific research

Neurath had wide-ranging interests in the physical chemistry of proteins. He published seminal papers on protein structure and denaturation and debunked early models of protein structures, notably those of William Astbury.

Neurath was always a careful scientist, never overreaching the data. His research focused mainly on the proteases, (proteins that act as enzymes cleaving other proteins).

Writing and editing

Neurath authored more than 400 papers. He founded two leading journals of protein science: Biochemistry, which he edited from 1961 to 1991; and Protein Science, which he edited from 1991 to 1998. Neurath also edited three volumes of "The Proteins," a classic reference work.

Work in Seattle

Hans Neurath founded the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington, Seattle, and served as its chair from 1950 to 1975, when he retired. Neurath built the department from one that was minuscule to one that was quite sizable and highly respected. Neurath's department turned out many superb biochemists including three winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine -- Edwin G. Krebs and Edmond H. Fischer who stayed in Seattle and Martin Rodbell who earned his PhD in the department and went on to a distinguished career at the NIH.

Neurath was also part-time scientific director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Personal life

Neurath was married to Susi Spitzer Neurath for 41 years. He had a son, Peter F. Neurath, from an earlier marriage, as well as two step-children , Margaret Albrecht and Frank Meyer, and three step-grandchildren.

Neurath played piano well, but chose not to pursue a career in music, since he could never play as well as a pianist friend. Neurath also loved hiking and skiing in the mountains. He died at the age of 92 on April 12, 2002 in Seattle.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hans_Neurath". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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