1984 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry
Pasadena City College, CA
During nearly 60 years as a research chemist, Dr. Bruce Merrifield has helped unlock the mysteries of biological life with his scientific investigations of protein and peptide synthesis. At 79, he still spends most days in his laboratory at Rockefeller University working on several projects, including one he hopes will improve the treatment for diabetics.
Merrifield is best known for his solid phase peptide synthesis, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1984. In announcing his award, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science described Merrifield’s method as "simple and ingenious," and "a completely new approach to organic synthesis."
Merrifield finished high school in Pasadena in 1939 and enrolled at Pasadena Junior College, now known as Pasadena City College.
"The undergraduate teaching was better than at the big university," he said of the two-year college where he learned the basics of his field. After completing his associate degree he transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned his Ph.D.