Francis H. C. Crick
No man discovered or created molecular biology. But one man dominates intellectually the whole field, because he knows the most and understands the most. Francis Crick." - Jacques Monod, molecular biologist
Francis Crick was born on June 8th, 1916 in Northampton, England. Crick attended grammar school in North Hampton, but moved to North London to attend Mill High School. At age eighteen he started studying physics at University College, London and obtained a B.Sc. in 1937. He had just started research for a Ph.D., but this was interrupted by the outbreak of war in 1939. During the war he worked as a scientist for the British Admiralty, mainly dealing with magnetic and acoustic mines. He left the Admiralty in 1947 to pursue biological studies.
With a studentship from the Medical Research Council and some financial help from his family, Crick went to Cambridge and worked at the Strangeways Research Laboratory.
In 1947, he began his Ph. D. work with Arthur Hughes. There Crick and Hughes studied the physical properties of cytoplasm in the cultured fibroblast cells. In 1949 he joined the Medical Research Council Unit located in Cavendish Laboratory, While there, Crick worked with Max Perutz and John Kerdrew on protein structure. Cambridge was later moved to Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 1962. He has remained a member. He became an accepted research student for the second time in 1950, at Caius College, Cambridge, and obtained his Ph. D. in 1954. His thesis was titled "X-ray diffraction: polypeptides and proteins".
During the academic year 1953-1954 he was on leave of absence at the Protein Structure Project of the Brooklyn Polytechnic in Brooklyn, New York. He has lectured at Harvard in 1959, as a Visiting Professor, on two occasions, as he has also...