Jerker Porath
Jerker Porath, born 23 October 1921 in Sala
- Geography :* Sala Municipality, Sweden - a municipality in Sweden* Sala, Sweden - a city in Sweden, seat of Sala Municipality* Sala municipality, Latvia - a municipality in Latvia* Sala, Latvia - a village in Latvia, an administrative centre of Sala municipality...

, is a Swedish biochemist
Biochemists are scientists who are trained in biochemistry. Typical biochemists study chemical processes and chemical transformations in living organisms. The prefix of "bio" in "biochemist" can be understood as a fusion of "biological chemist."-Role:...

 who has invented several separation methods for biomolecule
A biomolecule is any molecule that is produced by a living organism, including large polymeric molecules such as proteins, polysaccharides, lipids, and nucleic acids as well as small molecules such as primary metabolites, secondary metabolites, and natural products...


Porath studied at Uppsala University
Uppsala University
Uppsala University is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477. It consistently ranks among the best universities in Northern Europe in international rankings and is generally considered one of the most prestigious institutions of...

 and initially did research in organic chemistry
Organic chemistry
Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives...

 under Arne Fredga, where he got his licentiate
Licentiate is the title of a person who holds an academic degree called a licence. The term may derive from the Latin licentia docendi, meaning permission to teach. The term may also derive from the Latin licentia ad practicandum, which signified someone who held a certificate of competence to...

 degree. After a scholarship to an institute in Heidelberg
-Early history:Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, "Heidelberg Man" died at nearby Mauer. His jaw bone was discovered in 1907; with scientific dating, his remains were determined to be the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. In the 5th century BC, a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of...

 he got an interest in biochemistry and switched to Arne Tiselius
Arne Tiselius
Arne Wilhelm Kaurin Tiselius was a Swedish biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1948.- Biography:Tiselius was born in Stockholm...

' department. Tiselius recommended Porath to make a research visit to Choh Hao Li
Choh Hao Li
Choh Hao Li was a Chinese-born U.S. biochemist who discovered, in 1966, that human pituitary growth hormone consists of a chain of 256 amino acids...

 and his Hormone Research Laboratory at University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 where Porath stayed 1951-1952. Back in Uppsala he developed methods for zone electrophoresis
Electrophoresis, also called cataphoresis, is the motion of dispersed particles relative to a fluid under the influence of a spatially uniform electric field. This electrokinetic phenomenon was observed for the first time in 1807 by Reuss , who noticed that the application of a constant electric...

 and ion exchange chromatography
Ion exchange chromatography
Ion-exchange chromatography is a process that allows the separation of ions and polar molecules based on their charge. It can be used for almost any kind of charged molecule including large proteins, small nucleotides and amino acids. The solution to be injected is usually called a sample, and the...

 for hormone
A hormone is a chemical released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. Only a small amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. In essence, it is a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one...

 purification. He received his Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy, an academic degree.Ph.D. may also refer to:* Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*Piled Higher and Deeper, a web comic strip*PhD: Phantasy Degree, a Korean comic series* PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 in Uppsala 1957 with the thesis Zone electrophoresis in columns and adsorption chromatography on ionic cellulose derivatives as methods for peptide and protein fractionations: application to the study of posterior pituitary hormones.

The separation method for which Porath is most well known is gel filtration, which he developed together with Per Flodin. Flodin worked with dextran
Dextran is a complex, branched glucan composed of chains of varying lengths...

 research at Pharmacia. In 1957, Porath discovered that columns filled with dextran gel could be used as "molecular sieve
Molecular sieve
A molecular sieve is a material containing tiny pores of a precise and uniform size that is used as an adsorbent for gases and liquids.Molecules small enough to pass through the pores are adsorbed while larger molecules are not. It is different from a common filter in that it operates on a...

s" to separate biomolecules by size. After patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

ing had been initiated, Porath and Flodin published their discoveries in Nature
Nature (journal)
Nature, first published on 4 November 1869, is ranked the world's most cited interdisciplinary scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports...

on June 13, 1959. A short time thereafter, Pharmacia offered the product Sephadex
Sephadex is a trademark for cross-linked dextran gel used for gel filtration. It was launched by Pharmacia in 1959, after development work by Jerker Porath and Per Flodin. The name is derived from separation Pharmacia dextran. It is normally manufactured in a bead form and most commonly used for...

 (Separation Pharmacia Dextran) on the market.

Porath has also worked on affinity chromatography
Affinity chromatography
Affinity chromatography is a method of separating biochemical mixtures and based on a highly specific interaction such as that between antigen and antibody, enzyme and substrate, or receptor and ligand.-Uses:Affinity chromatography can be used to:...

 and was later appointed professor of biochemistry at Uppsala University.

In 1971 he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences or Kungl. Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien , founded in 1919 by King Gustaf V, is one of the Royal Academies in Sweden...

 and a few years later a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences or Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden. The Academy is an independent, non-governmental scientific organization which acts to promote the sciences, primarily the natural sciences and mathematics.The Academy was founded on 2...

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