Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society

Vernon Martin Ingram. 19 May 1924—17 August 2006

Publication Date Aug 10, 2022


Vernon Ingram was a protein chemist who made important contributions to the development of protein crystallography and to the understanding of the role of mutations in the pathology of human haemoglobin diseases. Born in Germany, he moved to England, where he graduated and undertook his first research in London. After a post-doctoral time in the United States, he obtained a job in Cambridge at the Medical Research Council Unit for the Study of Molecular Structure of Biological Systems. He produced the first heavy atom derivatives of haemoglobin, which demonstrated that isomorphous replacement was a practical approach to solving protein structures by X-ray crystallography. While in Cambridge he characterized the single amino acid change that was responsible for the pathological behaviour of sickle cell haemoglobin. After six years in Cambridge, he moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he spent the rest of his career. There he continued to work on haemoglobin and later, among other projects, he studied the abnormal aggregation of proteins that occurs in many neurodegenerative diseases. Early in his career, within a couple of years, he had made two seminal contributions to the nascent field of molecular biology, and he is rightly regarded as one of the fathers of molecular medicine.


Isomorphous Replacement Protein Chemist Neurodegenerative Diseases X-ray Crystallography Sickle Haemoglobin Field Of Biology Pathology Of Diseases United States Study Of Structure Human Diseases

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