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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:14 am 
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Sir John Cornforth was an Australian–British chemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1975 for his work on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalysed reactions, becoming the only Nobel laureate born in New South Wales.

The Search Engine Google is showing this Doodle in few countries for the Sir John Cornforth’s 100th Birthday

Born in Sydney, Cornforth was the son and the second of four children of English-born, Oxford-educated schoolmaster and teacher John Warcup Cornforth and Hilda Eipper (1887–1969), a granddaughter of pioneering missionary and Presbyterian minister Christopher Eipper. Before her marriage, Eipper had been a maternity nurse.

Cornforth was raised in Sydney as well as Armidale, in the north of New South Wales, where he undertook primary school education.

After his arrival at Oxford and during World War II, Cornforth significantly influenced the work on penicillin, particularly in purifying and concentrating it. Penicillin is usually very unstable in its crude form; as a consequence of this, researchers at the time were building upon Howard Florey’s work on the drug.

In 1940, Cornforth and other chemists measured the yield of penicillin in arbitrary units to understand the conditions that favoured penicillin production and activity, and he contributed to the authoring of The Chemistry of Penicillin.

In 1946, Cornforth and his wife, Rita, left Oxford and joined the Medical Research Council, working at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), where they continued on earlier work in synthesising sterols, including cholesterol.

In 1977, Cornforth was recognised by his alma mater, the University of Sydney, with the award of an honorary Doctor of Science.

Cornforth was a professor at the University of Sussex in Brighton and remained active in research until his death.

Cornforth died in Sussex on 8 December 2013 at the age of 96. Cornforth is survived by his three children and four grandchildren. He was a sceptic and an atheist.


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