Crick, Francis Harry Compton (1916–2004),
British molecular biologist. Crick had a major role in the determination of the molecular structure of DNA, a discovery which is widely regarded as one of the most important of 20th-century biology. He joined the research staff at Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge, England. By 1961 Crick demonstrated that each group of three bases on a single DNA strand designates the position of a specific amino acid on the polypeptide chain of a protein molecule. He also helped to determine the base triplets that code for each of the 20 amino acids normally found in proteins. Watson, Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1962.