Harry B. Gray

California Institute of Technology


Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Secondary Section: 29, Biophysics and Computational Biology
Membership Type: Member (elected 1971)

Biosketch

Harry Gray is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and the Founding Director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology. After postdoctoral research at the University of Copenhagen, he joined the chemistry faculty at Columbia University, where in the early 1960s he developed the ligand field electronic structure theory of transition metal complexes. After moving to Caltech in 1966, he demonstrated that electrons can tunnel over long distances through proteins, a discovery that shed light on the mechanisms of respiration and photosynthesis. Gray has received the National Medal of Science (1986); the Wolf Prize (2004); the Welch Award (2009); six national ACS awards, including the Priestley Medal (1991); and 22 honorary doctorates.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Society of Great Britain. During 2013-2015, he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

Research Interests

Biological inorganic chemistry, with emphasis on the mechanisms of electron flow through proteins.

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