Chain, Sir Ernst Boris

Chain, Sir Ernst Boris

biographical name

(born June 19, 1906, Berlin, Ger.—died Aug. 12, 1979, Ire.) German-born British biochemist. With Howard Walter Florey he isolated and purified penicillin and performed the first clinical trials of the antibiotic. For their pioneering work, Chain, Florey, and Alexander Fleming shared a 1945 Nobel Prize. In addition to his work on antibiotics, Chain studied snake venoms, the spreading factor (an enzyme that aids the dispersal of fluids in tissue), and insulin. He was knighted in 1969.

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