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Stanford Moore

        Science | American Biologists

Moore, Stanford (1913-1982) was an American biochemist who shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in chemistry with American scientist William Howard Stein for their pioneering research into the structure and chemistry of proteins. A share of the prize was also awarded to American scientist Christian Boehmer Anfinsen for unrelated work.

Moore was born in Chicago and grew up in Nashville. He graduated summa cum laude in 1935 from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, with a B.A. degree in chemistry. He was awarded a fellowship to the University of Wisconsin, and in 1938 he earned a Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry there. In 1939, Moore joined the staff of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University) in New York City, and became a professor there in 1952.

During World War II (1939-1945), he served as an administrative officer for academic and industrial chemical projects administered by the Office of Scientific Research Development (OSRD). He studied the effects of chemical war agents. In 1945, he was assigned to the Operational Research Section of the U.S. Armed Forces in the Pacific Ocean Area, Hawaii.

After the war Moore returned to the Rockefeller Institute and renewed a research collaboration with Stein. Their research focused on the relationship between the chemical structure of proteins, which are made up of strings of amino acids, and their biological action. Moore used chromatography, a technique that separates the substances in a mixture of chemicals, to analyze the structures of amino acids, peptides, and the enzymeribonuclease, a substance that breaks ribonucleic acid (RNA) into molecules of other amino acids. For this work, Moore and Stein were awarded the Nobel Prize. Moore's discoveries influenced research in neurochemistry and the study of such diseases as sickle-cell anemia. Scientists later discovered the presence of ribonucleases in nearly all human cells, which is a critical factor in cancer and malaria research.

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