21 Nov 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Dr Frederick Sanger, the world renowned British biochemist who was the only person to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry twice, died on November 19, 2013, at the age of 95. Dr Sanger, who was born on August 13, 1918, is considered to be the "father of genomics" after pioneering methods to work out the exact sequence of the building blocks of DNA, also called as the Sanger method of sequencing.
Dr Sanger was awarded a Nobel prize in chemistry in 1958 "for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin" and was awarded the second Nobel in chemistry in 1980 along with Dr Walter Gilbert "for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids". Dr Sanger was the fourth person to have been awarded two Nobel Prizes, either individually or in tandem with others.
Dr Sanger was born in Gloucestershire and initially planned to follow his father into medicine. However, he followed a career in biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. He began studying for a PhD in October 1940, initially under Dr N W Pirie and then under Dr Albert Neuberger. His project was to investigate whether edible protein could be obtained from grass. He later changed his research project to study the metabolism of lysine and a more practical problem concerning the nitrogen of potatoes. He obtained his doctorate in 1943.
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridgeshire, which specializes in the understanding of the genome, is named after him.