ASBMB Nobel Prize Winners

1952 – Richard L. M. Synge



Richard Laurence Millington Synge (1914-1994) was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Archer John Porter Martin for their invention of partition chromatography, a technique that revolutionized analytical chemistry by separating mixtures of similar chemicals. Using chromatography, Synge studied antibiotic peptides of the gramicidin group, a heterogeneous mixture of six antibiotic compounds. Synge also looked at the digestion of proteins by ruminants and their associated micro-organisms; peptides and proteins from plants; and physicochemical methods for the purification of intermediates in the metabolism of proteins. He also used electrokinetic ultrafiltration of various polysaccharides, in which the molecules are separated by size by a semipermeable membrane under the influence of an applied electric field.