From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sir Aaron Klug, OM, PRS
(born 11 August 1926) is a Lithuanian-born
British chemist and biophysicist, and winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for
his development of crystallographic electron
microscopy and his structural elucidation of biologically
Klug was born in Želva, Lithuania to Jewish parents Lazar and Bella (née
Silin) Klug with whom he moved to South Africa at the age of two.
He later graduated with a degree in science at the University
of Witwatersrand and studied crystallography at the University of Cape Town before
moving to England, completing his doctorate at Trinity College, Cambridge
He moved to Birkbeck College in the
University of London in late 1953,
and started working with Rosalind Franklin in John
Bernal's lab. This experience aroused a lifelong interest in
the study of viruses, and during
his time there he made discoveries in the structure of the tobacco
mosaic virus. In 1962 he moved to the newly built MRC
Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. Over the
following decade Klug used methods from X-ray diffraction, microscopy and
structural modelling to develop crystallographic electron
microscopy in which a sequence of two-dimensional images of
crystals taken from different angles are combined to produce
three-dimensional images of the target.
He was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize
from Columbia University in 1981.
Between 1986 and 1996 he was director of the Laboratory of Molecular
Biology in Cambridge, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988. He
was elected President of the Royal Society, and served from 1995-2000.
He was appointed OM in 1995 - as is customary for
Presidents of the Royal Society. He is also a member of the Board
of Scientific Governors at The Scripps Research
In 2005 he was awarded South Africa's Order of
Mapungubwe (gold) for exceptional achievements in medical
- Amos LA, Finch JT (March 2004).
"Aaron Klug and the revolution in biomolecular structure
determination". Trends in Cell Biology 14
(3): 148–52. doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2004.01.002. PMID 15003624.
- Shafrir E (September 1994).
"Aaron Klug--a pioneer of crystallographic electron microscopy".
Israel Journal of Medical Sciences 30
(9): 734. PMID 8088991.
- Shampo MA, Kyle RA (June 1994).
"Sir Aaron Klug--Nobel Prize winner for chemistry". Mayo Clinic
Proceedings. Mayo Clinic 69 (6): 556. PMID 8189761.
- Wakabayashi K (February 1983).
"[Accomplishment of Dr. Aaron Klug, winner of Nobel prize in
chemistry, 1982]" (in Japanese). Tanpakushitsu Kakusan Koso.
Protein, Nucleic Acid, Enzyme 28 (2): 156–7.
- John Finch; 'A Nobel Fellow On Every Floor', Medical Research
Council 2008, 381 pp, ISBN 978-1840469-40-0; this book is all about
the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge.