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Sir Ernst Boris Chain honored on Dominica Stamp

19 Jun 2021  Sat

Sir Ernst Boris Chain was a German-born British biochemist who, with pathologist Howard Walter Florey (later Baron Florey), isolated and purified penicillin (which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming) and performed the first clinical trials of the antibiotic. For their pioneering work on penicillin Chain, Florey, and Fleming shared the 1945 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

The chain was born in Berlin, the son of Margarete (nee Eisner) and Michael Chain, who was a chemist and industrialist dealing in chemical products. His family was of both Sephardic and Ashkenazi descent. His father emigrated from Russia to study chemistry abroad and his mother was from Berlin. In 1930, he received his degree in chemistry from Friedrich Wilhelm University. His father descends from Shealtiel Hen who was a prominent figure among the Catalonian Jewry and whose ancestors were leading Jewish figures in Babylonia.

Chain served as the director of the International Research Centre for Chemical Microbiology, Superior Institute of Health, Rome, from 1948 until 1961. He then joined the faculty of Imperial College, the University of London, where he was professor of biochemistry (1961–73), professor emeritus and senior research fellow (1973–76), and fellow (1978–79). The chain was knighted in 1969.

Depicted here is a stamp issued by Dominica to honor him in 1995.

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

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