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Francis Harry Compton Crick

Crick, Francis Harry Compton, 1916–2004, English scientist, grad. University College, London, and Caius College, Cambridge. Crick was trained as a physicist, and from 1940 to 1947 he served as a scientist in the admiralty, where he designed circuitry for naval mines. At Cambridge after 1947, he trained and did research in biology. He was a visiting lecturer at several institutions in the United States including Brooklyn Polytechnic (1953–54), Harvard (1959), Univ. of Rochester (1959), and Johns Hopkins school of medicine (1960). Crick shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Maurice Wilkins and James Watson for their work in establishing the structure and function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the key substance in the transmission of hereditary characteristics from generation to generation. After 1976 he worked at the Salk Institute, San Diego, where he served as president from 1994 to 1995. His subsequent research focused on protein synthesis, the genetic code and its conversion into amino acids, embryonic development, the neurobiological basis of consciousness, and other biological issues.

See his Of Molecules and Men (1967), Life Itself (1981), and What Mad Pursuit (1988); biography by M. Ridley (2006); J. D. Watson, The Double Helix (1968), and H. F. Judson, The Eighth Day of Creation (expanded ed. 1996).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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