Jeffries Wyman

June 21, 1901 - November 4, 1995

Scientific Discipline: Biochemistry
Membership Type:
Member (elected 1969)

Jeffries Wyman—the third member of his illustrious family to carry that name—studied how temperature, pH, and oxygen saturation affected the binding properties of complex biological proteins in living tissues. In later years, he broadened and formalized his research, showing how to calculate the physical interaction, or binding potential, of macromolecules with their respective ligands.

Wyman graduated from Harvard with highest honors in philosophy and biology. He began taking advanced courses in physics and chemistry at Harvardand then traveled overseas to work in the new Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University, in England. Wyman earned his PhD from University College in 1926. He returned to Harvard and taught there from 1927 to 1951.

After retiring from Harvard, Wyman lived and worked abroad in science, first as an attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Paris; then in Egypt as director of a regional science office of UNESCO, headquartered in Cairo; and then in Italy as a guest scientist at the University of Rome. Throughout his career, Wyman collaborated with leading scientists from these countries and around the world.

Wyman was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Italian Accademia dei Lincei.

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