Melvin Calvin’s profile picture

Melvin Calvin

Melvin Calvin’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: Under Review
Industry: Scientists
Residence: St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Country: United States
BirthDay: 8 April 1911
Sigh: Taurus
Died On: January 8, 1997
Education: Michigan College of Mining and Technology, University of Minnesota

Melvin Calvin was bornon 8 April 1911 in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, American, is Biochemist. Melvin Ellis Calvin was a Jewish-American biochemist who was awarded the ‘Nobel Prize’ in Chemistry in 1961 for his renowned discovery of the ‘Calvin cycle’ that encompass three phases of light-independent reactions of photosynthesis - carbon fixation, reduction reactions, and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration. This discovery was made by Calvin along with American biologist Andrew Benson and American scientist James Bassham. In his career span of around five decades, most of which was spent at the ‘University of California’, Berkeley, he made several studies that yielded significant discoveries covering a broad area of biological and physical chemistry. The series of investigations made by Calvin included work on hydrogen activation; radiation chemistry; electronic structure of organic molecules; artificial photosynthesis; photoelectronic, electronic and photochemical behaviour of porphyrins; and chemical evolution of life among others. He worked on isolating and purifying plutonium from other irradiated nuclear fission products of uranium by applying chelation and solvent extraction while working in the ‘Manhattan Project’. He and his wife Genevieve Jemtegaard collaborated to study chemical factors present in Rh blood group system and helped to ascertain structure of one of the Rh antigens that they named ‘elinin’. He received several awards and recognition including ‘Davy Medal’ from the ‘Royal Society of London’ (1964), ‘Priestley Medal’ (1978) and the U.S. ‘National Medal of Science’ (1989).


On January 8, 1997, he passed away in Berkeley, California, USA at the age of 86


Post retirement he used to come to his office and worked with a small team of researchers until 1996


On May 1992, the ‘American Chemical Society’ published his autobiography titled ‘Following the Trail of Light: A Scientific Odyssey’


He remained Director of the lab till his retirement in 1980 following which the lab was rechristened as ‘Melvin Calvin Laboratory’


In 1971 he was made the President of the ‘American Chemical Society’


In 1964 the ‘Dow Chemical Company’ inducted him as a member of its Board of Directors


From 1963 to 1964 he served as President of the ‘American Society of Plant Physiologists’


As the bioorganic group of Calvin required more space, the ‘Laboratory of Chemical Biodynamics’ was developed in the campus of the ‘University of California’, Berkeley in the early 1960s


Such findings were detailed in the books ‘The Path of Carbon in Photosynthesis’ (1957) and ‘The Photosynthesis of Carbon Compounds’ (1962)


The tracer technique was elucidated by them in ‘Isotopic Carbon’ (1949)


His career path in the university saw a gradual rise first advancing as a Full Professor in 1947 and then as a Professor of Molecular Biology in 1963, a post he retained till his retirement in 1980


His Nobel Prize winning research that he initiated in 1946 encompassed elucidating the way plants make use of sunlight and chlorophyll to metamorphose water and carbon dioxide into the biological molecule, carbohydrate


In 1942 he married Marie Genevieve Jemtegaard and the couple was blessed with two daughters, Karole and Elin and a son, Noel


While investigating molecular genetics during the early 1940s, he suggested involvement of hydrogen bonding in the piling of nucleic acid bases in the thread like structures called chromosomes, present in the nucleus of living organisms


In 1937 he was inducted as an instructor at the ‘University of California’, Berkeley


degree from ‘Michigan College of Mining and Technology’ in 1931


In 1928 he completed his graduation from ‘Central High School’, Detroit

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