Wilkins, Maurice


Wilkins, Maurice

▪ British biophysicist
in full  Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins  
born December 15, 1916, Pongaroa, New Zealand
died October 6, 2004, London, England

      New Zealand-born British biophysicist whose X-ray (X-ray diffraction) diffraction studies of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) ( DNA) proved crucial to the determination of DNA's molecular structure by James D. Watson (Watson, James Dewey) and Francis Crick (Crick, Francis Harry Compton). For this work the three scientists were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

      Wilkins, the son of a physician (who was originally from Dublin), was educated at King Edward's School in Birmingham, England, and St. John's College in Cambridge. His doctoral thesis, completed for the University of Birmingham in 1940, contained his original formulation of the electron-trap theory of phosphorescence and thermoluminescence. He participated for two years during World War II in the Manhattan Project at the University of California in Berkeley, working on mass spectrograph separation of uranium isotopes for use in the atomic bomb.

      Upon his return to Great Britain, Wilkins lectured at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. In 1946 he joined the Medical Research Council's Biophysics Unit at King's College in London. In 1955 he became its deputy director, and from 1970 to 1980 he served as the unit's director. There he began the series of investigations that led ultimately to his X-ray diffraction studies of DNA. Wilkins headed a group that included Rosalind Franklin (Franklin, Rosalind), a crystallographer who produced DNA pictures that also aided the work of Crick and Watson. Wilkins later applied X-ray diffraction techniques to the study of ribonucleic acid.

      At King's College proper, Wilkins was professor of molecular biology (1963–70) and of biophysics (1970–81) and emeritus professor thereafter. While there he published literature on light microscopy techniques for cytochemical research. His autobiography, The Third Man of the Double Helix, was published in 2003.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wilkins, Maurice H. F. — ► (1916 2004) Biofísico británico. Fue premio Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1962 por sus trabajos sobre difracción con rayos X …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Wilkins,Maurice Hugh Frederick — Wilkins, Maurice Hugh Frederick. Born 1916. British biophysicist. He shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for advances in the study of DNA. * * * …   Universalium

  • Wilkins , Maurice Hugh Frederick — (1916–) New Zealand–British biophysicist Wilkins was born at Pongaroa in New Zealand. After graduating in physics from Cambridge University in England in 1938, he joined John Randall at Birmingham University to work on the improvement of radar… …   Scientists

  • Wilkins, Maurice Hugh Frederick — ▪ 2005       New Zealand born British biophysicist (b. Dec. 15, 1916, Pongaroa, N.Z. d. Oct. 5, 2004, London, Eng.), used X ray crystallography to investigate the DNA molecule and thereby contributed to the discovery of DNA s structure by James… …   Universalium

  • Wilkins, Maurice (Hugh Frederick) — born Dec. 15, 1916, Pongaroa, N.Z. died Oct. 6, 2004, London, Eng. New Zealand born British biophysicist. Educated in Birmingham and Cambridge, he participated in the Manhattan Project, working on the separation of uranium isotopes for use in the …   Universalium

  • Wilkins, Maurice (Hugh Frederick) — (15 dic. 1916, Pongaroa, Nueva Zelanda–5 oct. 2004, Londres, Inglaterra). Biofísico británico nacido en Nueva Zelanda. Estudió en Birmingham y Cambridge, participó en el proyecto Manhattan trabajando en la separación de los isótopos de uranio… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Maurice Wilkins — Born 15 December 1916(191 …   Wikipedia

  • Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins — Maurice H.F. Wilkins Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins (* 15. Dezember 1916 in Pongaroa, Nord Wairarapa, Neuseeland; † 5. Oktober 2004 in London) war ein neuseeländischer Physiker und forschte vor allem im Bereich der Röntgenstrahlung. Im Alter von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins — Maurice Wilkins Pour les articles homonymes, voir Wilkins. Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins (15 décembre 1916 5 octobre 2004) est un physicien britannique d origine néo zélandaise principalement connu pour ses travaux sur les… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Maurice Wilkins — Maurice H.F. Wilkins Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins (* 15. Dezember 1916 in Pongaroa, Nord Wairarapa, Neuseeland; † 5. Oktober 2004 in London) war ein neuseeländischer Physiker und forschte vor allem im Bereich der Röntgenstrahlung. Im Alter von …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.