Martin, Archer John Porter (1910-2002) was a British biochemist. With Richard Laurence Millington Synge, he received the 1952 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Martin and Synge did important work in partition chromatography, a method of chemical analysis.
Martin was born in London. His father, William Archer Porter, was a physician, and his mother, Lilian Brown Martin, was a nurse. Archer had three older sisters. In 1929, he entered Cambridge University to become a chemical engineer, but later switched to biochemistry. Martin graduated from Cambridge in 1932. He then earned an M.A. degree in 1935 and a Ph.D. degree in 1936, both from Cambridge.
While still a student, Martin worked at the Dunn Nutritional Laboratory on projects to isolate vitamin E and study the effects of vitamin E deficiencies. He used chromatographic methods that laid the foundation for his later work.
In 1938, Martin moved to the Wool Industries Research Association at Leeds. There he developed his method of partition chromatography. Chromatography is a method of separating substances that make up a complex mixture of chemical compounds. One use of chromatography is to measure or identify low concentrations of substances. Another use is to separate and identify the products of chemical reactions. Martin also developed the method of gas-liquid chromatography.