Alan R. Battersby

Sir Alan R. Battersby
Born (1925-03-04) 4 March 1925
United Kingdom
Nationality British
Institutions University of St Andrews
Rockefeller University
University of Illinois
University of Bristol
University of Liverpool
Cambridge University[1]
Doctoral students Andrew D. Hamilton
Notable awards Davy Medal (1977)
Paul Karrer Gold Medal (1977)
Royal Medal (1984)
Tetrahedron Prize (1995)
Copley Medal (2000)

Sir Alan Rushton Battersby FRS (born 4 March 1925) is a British organic chemist known for his work on the genetic blueprint, structure, and synthetic pathway of Cyanocobalamin. This came in collaboration with a partner and also in relation to work on plant alkaloids. He won the Copley Medal in 2000 and has also won other awards such as Royal Medal in 1984.

Birth and academic career

Battersby was born in the United Kingdom. He was Professor of Organic Chemistry at Cambridge University from 1988 - 1992 and is Fellow Emeritus of St Catharine's College, Cambridge.

Battersby received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 1987 [2]


Battersby is known for his research on the biosynthesis of the 'pigments of life' haem, chlorophyll and vitamin B12, that are built on closely related tetrapyrrolic structural frameworks. He has demonstrated and elucidated the essential role played by two enzymes, deaminase and cosynthetase, in the construction of the tetrapyrrolic ring with its specific structural features.

In 1988, he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[3] He was awarded the Wolf Prize in Chemistry along with Duilio Arigoni of ETH Zurich in 1989 for "their fundamental contributions to the elucidation of the mechanism of enzymic reactions and of the biosynthesis of natural products, in particular the pigments of life".[4]


  1. "Alan Rushton". Debretts. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  2. "Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh: Honorary Graduates". Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  3. "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  4. The Wolf Prize in Chemistry

Further reading

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Ralph Raphael
Professor of Organic Chemistry, Cambridge University
Succeeded by
Steven Ley

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/7/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.