John Howard Northrop

John Howard Northrop
John Howard Northrop

Born July 5, 1891(1891-07-05)
Yonkers, New York, USA
Died May 27, 1987(1987-05-27) (aged 95)
Wickenburg, Arizona, USA
Nationality United States
Fields Biochemistry
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Columbia University
Rockefeller University
Alma mater Columbia University
Doctoral advisor Jacques Loeb
Known for Studies of enzymes
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1946)
Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal (1939)

John Howard Northrop (July 5, 1891 – May 27, 1987) was an American biochemist who won, with James Batcheller Sumner and Wendell Meredith Stanley, the 1946 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The award was given for these scientists' isolation, crystallization, and study of enzymes, proteins, and viruses.[1] Northrop was a Professor of Bacteriology and Medical Physics, Emeritus at University of California, Berkeley.[2]



Early years

Northrop was born in Yonkers, New York to John I., a zoologist and instructor at Columbia University, and Alice R. Northrop, a teacher of botany at Hunter College. His father died in a lab explosion two weeks before John H. Northrop was born. The son was educated at Columbia University, where he earned his PhD in chemistry in 1915. During World War I, he conducted research for the U.S. Army Chemical Warfare Service on the production of acetone and ethanol through fermentation. This work led to studying enzymes.


In 1929, Northrop isolated and crystallized the gastric enzyme pepsin[3] and determined that it was a protein. In 1938 he isolated and crystallized the first bacteriophage (a small virus that attacks bacteria), and determined that it was a nucleoprotein. Northrop also isolated and crystallized pepsinogen (the precursor to pepsin), trypsin, chymotrypsin, and carboxypeptidase.

For his 1939 book, Crystalline Enzymes: The Chemistry of Pepsin, Trypsin, and Bacteriophage, Northrop was awarded the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.[4] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1949.[5] Northrop was employed by the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City from 1916 until his retirement in 1961. In 1949 he was appointed Professor of Bacteriology, University of California, Berkeley and later, Professor of Biophysics.[6]

Personal life

In 1917, Northrop married Louise Walker, with whom he had two children: John, an oceanographer, and Alice, who married Nobel laureate Frederick C. Robbins. Northrop committed suicide in Wickenberg, Arizona in 1987.[7]


Further reading

  • Northrop, J. H. (1939), Crystalline Enzymes, Columbia University Press 
  • Shampo, M A; Kyle, R. A. (2000), "John Northrop--definitive study of enzymes", Mayo Clin. Proc. 75 (3): 254, 2000 March, PMID 10725951 
  • van Helvoort, T. (1992), "The controversy between John H. Northrop and Max Delbrück on the formation of bacteriophage: bacterial synthesis or autonomous multiplication?", Annals of Science 49 (6): 545–75, 1992 November, doi:10.1080/00033799200200451, PMID 11616207 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Howard Northrop — (* 5. Juli 1891 in Yonkers, New York; † 27. Mai 1987 in Wickenburg, Arizona) war ein US amerikanischer Chemiker. Northrop erhielt 1946 zusammen mit Wendell Meredith Stanley die Hälfte des Nobelpreis für Chemie für ihre Darstellung von Enzymen und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Howard Northrop — (5 juillet 1891 à Yonkers, New York 27 mai 1987) est un biochimiste américain, co lauréat avec Wendell Meredith Stanley de la moitié du prix Nobel de chimie de 1946[1]. Biographie Northrop est né à Yonkers dans l État de New York et a… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Howard Northrop — noun United States biochemist (1891 1987) • Syn: ↑Northrop • Instance Hypernyms: ↑biochemist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chemienobelpreis 1946: James Batcheller Sumner — John Howard Northrop — Wendell Meredith Stanley —   Der Nobelpreis für Chemie 1946 ging an drei Amerikaner; Sumner erhielt ihn für die Entdeckung der Kristallisierbarkeit von Enzymen, Northrop und Stanley für ihre Darstellung von Enzymen und Virusproteinen in reiner Form.    Biografien   James… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • John H. Northrop — John Howard Northrop John Howard Northrop (5 juillet 1891 27 mai 1987) est un biochimiste américain, colauréat avec James Batcheller Sumner et Wendell Meredith Stanley du prix Nobel de chimie 1946. Northrop est né à Yonkers (New York)… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Howart Northrop — No debe confundirse con John Howard. John Howard Northrop (Yonkers, Nueva York, Estados Unidos, 5 de julio de 1891 – Wickenberg, Arizona, Estados Unidos, 27 de mayo de 1987) fue un químico, bioquímico y profesor universitario estadounidense… …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Howard — No debe confundirse con John Howard Northrop. John Howard 25º primer ministro de Australia …   Wikipedia Español

  • Northrop,John Howard — Nor·throp (nôrʹthrəp), John Howard. 1891 1987. American biochemist. He shared a 1946 Nobel Prize for discovering methods of producing pure enzymes and virus proteins. * * * …   Universalium

  • Northrop, John Howard — born July 5, 1891, Yonkers, N.Y., U.S. died May 27, 1987, Wickenberg, Ariz. U.S. biochemist. He worked most of his career on the staff of New York City s Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (1916–61). His early research on fermentation… …   Universalium

  • Northrop , John Howard — (1891–1987) American chemist The son of biologists, Northrop was born in Yonkers, New York, and educated at Columbia, obtaining his PhD there in 1915. In 1917 he joined the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research, only leaving on his retirement …   Scientists

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