Alan R. Battersby
Wolf Prize Laureate in Chemistry 1989
The Chemistry Prize committee has unanimously selected the following two candidates to equally share the 1989 Wolf Prize in Chemistry: Duilio Arigoni and Alan R. Battersby.
Alan R. Battersby,
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom
“for their fundamental contributions to the elucidation of the mechanism of enzymic reactions and of the biosynthesis of natural products, in particular the pigments of life.”
Professors Duilio Arigoni and Alan Battersby have performed pioneering studies on the elucidation of the mechanisms by which natural products are synthesized in biological organisms.
The major efforts of Alan R. Battersby have been focused on the biosynthesis of the “pigments of life” haem, chlorophyll and vitamin B12, that are built on closely related tetrapyrrolic structural frameworks. He has demonstrated and elucidated the essential role played by two enzymes, deaminase and cosynthetase, in the construction of the tetrapyrrolic ring with its specific structural features.