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Christian Boehmer Anfinsen

biochemist , educator

Christian Boehmer Anfinsen, American biochemist, educator. Named Markle scholar, 1948; recipient Rockefeller Public Service award, 1954-1955, Nobel prize in chemistry, 1972; fellow American Scandinavian fellow, Carlsberg Laboratory, Copenhagen, 1939, senior cancer research fellow, Nobel Institute, Stockholm, 1947, Guggenheim fellow, Weizmann Institute, 1958. Board of Governors, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel; American Society


Anfinsen, Christian Boehmer was born on March 26, 1916 in Monessen, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of Christian Boehmer and Sophie (Rasmussen) Anfinsen.


Bachelor, Swarthmore College, 1937. Doctor of Science, Swarthmore College, 1965. Master of Science, University Pennsylvania, 1939.

Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard, 1943. Honorary Doctor of Science(honorary), Georgetown University, 1967. Honorary Doctor of Science(honorary), New York Medical College, 1969.

Honorary Doctor of Science(honorary), Gustavus Adolphus College, 1975. Honorary Doctor of Science(honorary), Brandeis University, 1977. Honorary Doctor of Science(honorary), Providence College, 1978.

Doctor of Medicine (honorary)(honorary), University Naples Medical School, 1980. Doctor of Medicine (honorary)(honorary), Adelphi University, 1987.


Assistant instructor in organic chemistry University of Pennsylvania 1938-1939. Fellow, American Scandinavian Foundation, visiting investigator Carlsberg laboratory, Copenhagen, Denmark 1939-1940. Fellow, Harvard University 1941-1943, Instructor in Biological Chemistry, Harvard Medical School 1943-1945.

Civilian with Office of Scientific Research and Development CMR 1944-1946. Association, in Biological Chemistry, Harvard Medical School 1945-1948. Senior Fellow, American Cancer Society, Visiting Investigator, Medical Noble Institute with Professor Hugo Theorell 1947-1948.

Markle Scholar and Assistant Professor Biological Chemistry, Harvard Medical School, also consultant in research anaesthesia, Massachusetts General Hospital 1948-1950. Chief, Laboratory of Cellular Physiology, National Heart Institute 1950-1952. Chief, Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Metabolism, National Heart Institute 1952-1962.

Professor Department, of Biological Chemistry, Harvard Medical School 1962-1963. Chief, Laboratory of Chemical Biology National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Diseases 1963-1981. Professor, of Biology, Johns Hopkins University since 1982.

President 1971-1972), N.A.S., Royal Danish Academy, Pontifical Academy, of Sciences since 1981. Rockefeller Foundation Public Service. Lecturer 1966; Honorary Doctor of Science (Georgetown) 1967.

Honorary Doctor of Science (New York Medical College) 1969. Honorary Fellow’, Weizmann Institute of Science 1969. EMBO Lecturer for Sw’eden 1970.

Visiting Fellow, All Souls College Oxford 1970. Jubilee Lecturer 1972. Honorary Doctor of Science (University of Pennsylvania) 1973.

Mathers Lectures (Indiana University) 1974. Honorary Doctor of Science (Gustavus Adolphus College), Kempner Lectureship (University of Texas, Galveston) 1975. Naff Lectures (University of Kentucky).

Honorary Doctor of Science (Brandeis) 1977. Honorary Doctor of Science (Providence College) 1978. Honorary Doctor of Science (Naples), (Yeshiva) 1982, (Adelphi) 1987.


  • National Academy of Sciences; Pontifical Academy Sci.; Federation American Scientists (treasurer 1958?Co59, vice chairman 1959?Co60, 1973?Co76) ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE `description` = VALUES(`description`); American Philosophical Society; Washington Academy Scis.; American Academy Arts and Scis.; American Society Biological Chemists (president 1971?Co72)


  • Author: The Molecular Basis of Evolution, 1959

  • contributor.


Member of National Academy of Sciences, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Federation American Scientists (treasurer 1958-1959, vice chairman 1959-1960, 1973-1976), American Philosophical Society, Washington Academy of Sciences, American Academy Arts and Sciences, American Society Biological Chemists (president 1971-1972).


  • Other Interests

    Sailing, music.


Married Florence Bernice Kenenger, November 29, 1941 (divorced 1978). Children: Carol Bernice, Margot Sophie, Christian Boehmer. Married Libby Shulman Ely, 1979.

Christian Boehmer Anfinsen

Sophie (Rasmussen) Anfinsen

Florence Bernice Kenenger

Libby Shulman Ely

Carol Bernice Anfinsen

Margot Sophie Anfinsen

Christian Boehmer Anfinsen