Recorded: 16 Jun 2005
Well, when I first started to do research the first thing you have to find is someone to work with, you know, I hadn’t done any research before. So that I started working with Albert Neuberger first in the biochemistry department in Cambridge, he was working on amino acids and proteins. I did a PhD with him on metabolism of lysine it was, on the metabolism of proteins, really.
But after I got my PhD, after it was—not terribly important work, but it was during the war and it was partly war work and partly academic work, really. But after that Neuberger left the lab and Chibnall became as a new professor. I was looking for a job and I had some experience with proteins and things and he was a protein expert, so that really got me onto proteins.
He suggested a project for me on insulin, the particular protein he was interested in was insulin. He was an analyst really, and expert in amino acid analysis. In a way that was a bit dull, I thought. I wasn’t too keen, but I did join his group. The interesting thing about insulin and the project which he really put me onto was to look into the free amino groups of insulin and that is really where I started.
Frederick Sanger, OM, CH, CBE, FRS (born 13 August 1918) is an English biochemist and twice a Nobel laureate in chemistry. In 1958 he was awarded a Nobel prize in chemistry "for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin". In 1980, Walter Gilbert and Sanger shared half of the chemistry prize "for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids". The other half was awarded to Paul Berg "for his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant-DNA".
He is the fourth (and only living) person to have been awarded two Nobel Prizes, either wholly or in part.