Awards & Winners

Rodney Robert Porter

Date of Birth 08-October-1917
Place of Birth Newton-le-Willows
(United Kingdom, Merseyside)
Nationality United Kingdom
Also know as R. R. Porter
Profession Chemist
Rodney Robert Porter, CH, FRS was an English biochemist and Nobel laureate. Born in Newton-le-Willows, St Helens, Lancashire, England, Rodney Robert Porter received his Bachelors of Sciences degree from the University of Liverpool in 1939 for Biochemistry. He moved to the University of Cambridge where he became Fred Sanger's first PhD student. He was awarded his doctorate in 1948. He worked for the National Institute for Medical Research for eleven years before joining St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, Imperial College London and becoming the Pfizer Professor of Immunology. In 1967 he was appointed Whitley Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, and Fellow of Trinity College. His colleague Elizabeth Press worked with him at NIMR, St Mary's and at Oxford contributing extensively to the work which led to the Nobel Prize. In 1972, Porter shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology with Gerald M. Edelman for determining the chemical structure of an antibody. Using the enzyme papain, he broke the blood's immunoglobin into fragments, making them easier to study. He also looked into how the blood's immunoglobins react with cellular surfaces. He subsequently worked with colleagues Kenneth BM Reid, Robert Sim and Duncan Campbell on developing understanding of the Complement Proteins associated with defence against infection.

Awards by Rodney Robert Porter

Check all the awards nominated and won by Rodney Robert Porter.


Copley Medal
(In recognition of his elucidation of the structure of immunoglobulins and of the reactions involved in activating the complement system of proteins.)


Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
(for their discoveries concerning the chemical structure of antibodies)


Gairdner Foundation International Award
(In recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of immunochemistry. He has applied with incisive clarity the tools of the protein chemist to the problem of antibody structure. His methods for breaking antibodies into smaller molecular fragments provided a foundation for our understanding of the molecular architecture of these complex molecules.)