Frederick Sanger - Scientists, Birthday and Family

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Frederick Sanger's Personal Details

Fredrick Sanger was a two time Nobel Prize winning biochemist, who discovered the ‘Sanger method’ for sequencing DNA

InformationDetail
BirthdayAugust 13, 1918
Died onNovember 19, 2013
NationalityBritish
FamousScientists, Chemists, Biochemists
SpousesMargaret Joan Howe
SiblingsTheodore Sanger
Childrens Peter Sanger, Robin Sanger, Sally Joan Sanger
Universities
  • St John's College
  • Cambridge
  • University of Cambridge
  • Bryanston School
Birth PlaceRendcomb
GenderMale
FatherFrederick Sanger
Sun SignLeo
Born inRendcomb
Famous asBiochemist
Died at Age95

// Famous Chemists

Frederick Sanger's photo

Who is Frederick Sanger?

Frederick Sanger was a British biochemist, well known for his groundbreaking research on aspects of biochemistry, which have influenced generations of research and progress in fields of biology and chemistry. He is the only Briton to have won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry twice, also one of the only two people overall to have won the Nobel Prize in the same category. His research on the insulin molecule revolutionized the study of proteins and landed him the first of his two Nobel Prizes. After his first Nobel Prize, he started researching at the Medical Research Council (MRC) which housed better facilities to carry forward his research. Surrounding himself with the brightest minds and collaborators, he shifted his focus towards genome studies after meeting Francis Crick and other researchers studying DNA. He continued studying RNA and DNA sequencing and developed a technique for sequencing DNA that came to be known as the ‘Sanger Method’, which later on, got automated and computerized and ended up being used in the ‘Human Genome Project’. He received his second Nobel Prize jointly with Walter Gilbert. They were credited for their immense contributions in research regarding the base sequences found in nucleic acids. To know more about his life and works read on

// Famous Scientists

Childhood & Early Life

He was born to Cicely Sanger and Frederick Sanger, a general practitioner of medicine on 13th August, 1918 in Rendcomb, a small village in England. Theodore, the eldest was older than him by just one year, and May, his sister, was younger to him by five years.

From the age of 5, Sanger received education from a governess. In 1927, he went to study at ‘Downs School’, a Quakers-run residential school.

In 1932, he joined the ‘Bryanston School’ in Dorset run under the Dalton system of education. The Dalton system provided a much more liberal forum, and Sanger started developing an interest towards scientific studies.

His father wanted him to practice medicine following in his footsteps, but he gravitated towards becoming a scientist. He initially concentrated towards chemistry and physics, but later got attracted to the comparatively new field of biochemistry.

He lost both his parents to cancer during his years as an undergraduate in Cambridge.

Career

Sanger joined ‘St. John’s College’ at Cambridge to pursue undergraduate studies in natural sciences on 1936. At the beginning, he took courses on physics, chemistry, biochemistry and mathematics but on struggling with physics and mathematics, he took up physiology in place of physics.

He started his PhD by researching if edible protein could be obtained from grass, but later on changed his thesis after Albert Neuberger became his thesis advisor. In 1943, Charles Harington and Albert Charles Chibnall awarded him with a doctorate after examining his thesis titled ‘The metabolism of the amino acid lysine in the animal body’.

In 1943, he joined Albert Chibnall’s group, where the latter suggested he studied the insulin molecule. Although he had funded his own research until then, on joining Chibnall’s group, he received funding from ‘Beit Memorial Fellowship’ and the ‘Medical Research Council’.

During 1951-1952, he successfully mapped the complete amino acid sequence of the bovine insulin’s two polypeptide chains. This led the renowned biologist to prove that proteins have definite chemical composition and unique sequence.

He went from being an external staff to the Medical Research Council to becoming the head of their newly opened ‘Laboratory of Molecular Biology’s Protein Chemistry division in 1962. He began developing new methods for sequencing ribonucleotide fragments for deciphering the structure of RNA.

His group was beaten to the race of sequencing the tRNA molecule by Robert Holley from ‘Cornell University’ in 1965. Two years later, Sanger’s own group successfully mapped the sequence of 120 nucleotides in the 5S ribosomal RNA of ‘Escherichia coli’.

He focused his research on sequencing DNA molecules next. In 1977, Sanger along with his colleagues introduced the ‘Sanger Method’ which involved ‘dideoxy’ chain-termination method for sequencing DNA molecules.

The ‘Sanger Method’ made fast and exact sequencing of long DNA sequences, a possibility. He used this new method to sequence the mitochondrial DNA of humans (16,569 base pairs) and that of the bacteriophage λ (this contained 48,502 base pairs).

Major Works

His work on the understanding of the insulin molecule led to the conclusion that all proteins have unique sequence and definite chemical compositions.

Sanger along with his group of colleagues sequenced the nucleotide sequence of the ribosomal RNA of Escherichia coli (a small RNA of 120 nucleotides), which led to a better understanding of the RNA molecule.

He was the developer of the process known as ‘Sanger Method’ for DNA sequencing, which later got utilized in DNA mapping for the Human Genome Project.

Awards & Achievements

In 1954, he was inducted as a ‘Fellow of the Royal Society’ and a ‘Fellow of King’s College’ at Cambridge.

The biologist received his first Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1958 for his research regarding the insulin molecule, and in extension, his success in determining protein’s structure.

He received his second Nobel Prize in 1980, jointly with Walter Gilbert, for their contributions to the study of base sequences in genomes.

He was conferred the distinguished ‘Order of Merit’ in 1986, this order is allowed to have only 24 living members at any point of time.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1940, he got married to Margaret Joan Howe, after they met through the Cambridge Scientists' Anti-War Group. Fred and Margaret had two sons and one daughter.

In 1992, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust established a genome research centre and named it as the ‘Sanger Center’ (now Sanger Institute) in honor of Frederick Sanger.

He passed away on 19 November 2013 in his sleep at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Trivia

Sanger refused knighthood, stating that he did not wish to be addressed as “Sir” that would set him different from others.

// Famous Biochemists

Frederick Sanger awards

YearNameAward

Other

1979Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize
1979; 1971 - Gairdner Foundation International Award
1980; 1958 - Nobel Prize in Chemistry
1977 - Copley Medal
1979 - Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research

Frederick Sanger biography timelines

  • // 13th Aug 1918
    He was born to Cicely Sanger and Frederick Sanger, a general practitioner of medicine on 13th August, 1918 in Rendcomb, a small village in England. Theodore, the eldest was older than him by just one year, and May, his sister, was younger to him by five years.
  • // 1927
    From the age of 5, Sanger received education from a governess. In 1927, he went to study at ‘Downs School’, a Quakers-run residential school.
  • // 1932
    In 1932, he joined the ‘Bryanston School’ in Dorset run under the Dalton system of education. The Dalton system provided a much more liberal forum, and Sanger started developing an interest towards scientific studies.
  • // 1936
    Sanger joined ‘St. John’s College’ at Cambridge to pursue undergraduate studies in natural sciences on 1936. At the beginning, he took courses on physics, chemistry, biochemistry and mathematics but on struggling with physics and mathematics, he took up physiology in place of physics.
  • // 1940
    In 1940, he got married to Margaret Joan Howe, after they met through the Cambridge Scientists' Anti-War Group. Fred and Margaret had two sons and one daughter.
  • // 1943
    He started his PhD by researching if edible protein could be obtained from grass, but later on changed his thesis after Albert Neuberger became his thesis advisor. In 1943, Charles Harington and Albert Charles Chibnall awarded him with a doctorate after examining his thesis titled ‘The metabolism of the amino acid lysine in the animal body’.
  • // 1943
    In 1943, he joined Albert Chibnall’s group, where the latter suggested he studied the insulin molecule. Although he had funded his own research until then, on joining Chibnall’s group, he received funding from ‘Beit Memorial Fellowship’ and the ‘Medical Research Council’.
  • // 1951 To 1952
    During 1951-1952, he successfully mapped the complete amino acid sequence of the bovine insulin’s two polypeptide chains. This led the renowned biologist to prove that proteins have definite chemical composition and unique sequence.
  • // 1954
    In 1954, he was inducted as a ‘Fellow of the Royal Society’ and a ‘Fellow of King’s College’ at Cambridge.
  • // 1958
    The biologist received his first Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1958 for his research regarding the insulin molecule, and in extension, his success in determining protein’s structure.
  • // 1962
    He went from being an external staff to the Medical Research Council to becoming the head of their newly opened ‘Laboratory of Molecular Biology’s Protein Chemistry division in 1962. He began developing new methods for sequencing ribonucleotide fragments for deciphering the structure of RNA.
  • // 1965
    His group was beaten to the race of sequencing the tRNA molecule by Robert Holley from ‘Cornell University’ in 1965. Two years later, Sanger’s own group successfully mapped the sequence of 120 nucleotides in the 5S ribosomal RNA of ‘Escherichia coli’.
  • // 1977
    He focused his research on sequencing DNA molecules next. In 1977, Sanger along with his colleagues introduced the ‘Sanger Method’ which involved ‘dideoxy’ chain-termination method for sequencing DNA molecules.
  • // 1980
    He received his second Nobel Prize in 1980, jointly with Walter Gilbert, for their contributions to the study of base sequences in genomes.
  • // 1986
    He was conferred the distinguished ‘Order of Merit’ in 1986, this order is allowed to have only 24 living members at any point of time.
  • // 1992
    In 1992, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust established a genome research centre and named it as the ‘Sanger Center’ (now Sanger Institute) in honor of Frederick Sanger.
  • // 19th Nov 2013
    He passed away on 19 November 2013 in his sleep at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

// Famous British

Frederick Sanger's FAQ

  • What is Frederick Sanger birthday?

    Frederick Sanger was born at 1918-08-13

  • When was Frederick Sanger died?

    Frederick Sanger was died at 2013-11-19

  • Where was Frederick Sanger died?

    Frederick Sanger was died in Cambridge

  • Which age was Frederick Sanger died?

    Frederick Sanger was died at age 95

  • Where is Frederick Sanger's birth place?

    Frederick Sanger was born in Rendcomb

  • What is Frederick Sanger nationalities?

    Frederick Sanger's nationalities is British

  • Who is Frederick Sanger spouses?

    Frederick Sanger's spouses is Margaret Joan Howe

  • Who is Frederick Sanger siblings?

    Frederick Sanger's siblings is Theodore Sanger

  • Who is Frederick Sanger childrens?

    Frederick Sanger's childrens is Peter Sanger, Robin Sanger, Sally Joan Sanger

  • What was Frederick Sanger universities?

    Frederick Sanger studied at St John's College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge, Bryanston School

  • Who is Frederick Sanger's father?

    Frederick Sanger's father is Frederick Sanger

  • What is Frederick Sanger's sun sign?

    Frederick Sanger is Leo

  • How famous is Frederick Sanger?

    Frederick Sanger is famouse as Biochemist