An Appreciation of the Scientific Life and Achievements of Bruce Merrifield

  • Alexander R. Mitchell
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (volume 611)


Bruce Merrifield's scientific biography, “Life During a Golden Age of Peptide Chemistry: The Concept and Development of Solid-Phase Peptide Synthesis,” provides a history of solid phase-peptide synthesis (SPPS) from 1959 to 1993 [1]. While many readers will be familiar with SPPS literature after 1963, the inclusion of unpublished material from Merrifield's early laboratory notebooks opens a fascinating window on the development of SPPS from the formulation of concept in 1959 (p. 56, ref. 1) to the synthesis of a tetrapeptide four years later [2]. This early period was characterized by slow progress interrupted by numerous setbacks that led Bruce to later record (p. 90, ref. 1): “At the end of the first two years the results were so poor, I wonder what made me think that this approach would ever succeed. But from the outset I had a strong conviction that this was a good idea, and I am glad that I stayed with it long enough”. Garland Marshall, Bruce's first graduate student...


Amino Acid Insertion Laboratory Notebook Peptide Chemistry Nobel Committee Scientific Biography 
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This paper was prepared under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, under Contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander R. Mitchell
    • 1
  1. 1.Energetic Materials CenterLawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of CaliforniaLivermoreUSA

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