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Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat

Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat
Born July 29, 1910 (1910-07-29)
Died April 10, 1999 (1999-04-11)
Citizenship United States
Nationality Germany
Fields biochemist
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Known for tobacco mosaic virus

Heinz Ludwig Fraenkel-Conrat (July 29, 1910 – April 10, 1999) was a biochemist, famous for his viral research.

Fraenkel-Conrat was born in Breslau/Germany and received an MD from the University of Breslau in 1933. Due to the rise of Nazism in Germany he left for Scotland in 1933 and finished his PhD at the University of Edinburgh (1936). After completing his doctorate, he emigrated to the United States, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1941. He worked at a number of institutes before joining the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in 1952 where he remained until his death.

His most noted research was on the tobacco mosaic virus. He discovered that the genetic control of viral reproduction was RNA and that it is carried in the nucleic core of each virus. In 1955 he and biophysicist Robley Williams showed that a functional virus could be created out of purified RNA and a protein coat. In 1960 he announced the complete sequencing of the 158 amino acids in the virus.


  • Fraenkel-Conrat, H (1994), "Early days of protein chemistry.", Faseb J. 8 (6): 452–3, 1994 Apr 1, PMID 8168696  
  • ROVERY, M; DESNUELLE, P (1954), "[Comparative application of the Sanger technic and the Edman-Fraenkel-Conrat technic in the determination of the N-terminal residues of proteins.]", Bull. Soc. Chim. Biol. 36 (1): 95–108, PMID 13160741  


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