ASBMB Nobel Prize Winners

1952 – Archer J. P. Martin

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Martin

Archer John Porter Martin (1910-2002) was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Richard Laurence Millington Synge for their invention of partition chromatography, a technique separating amino acid mixtures with similar chemical structures by exposing them to different solvents. Martin and Synge were able to separate amino acids on paper using a stationary liquid, so that the amounts of particular amino acids in different proteins could be measured. In his early research, Martin attempted to isolate vitamin E and studied the pathological effects of prolonged vitamin E deficiencies. It was during these studies that he used solvent extraction and chromatographic methods, which laid the foundation for his later work on chromatography. He also worked on vitamin B2 deficiencies in pigs, the felting of wool, and amino-acid analysis. Later, Martin developed the technique of gas-liquid chromatography.