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Richard Henderson

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This person won a Nobel Prize
Richard Henderson
Henderson during Nobel Prize press conference in Stockholm in 2017
Born (1945-07-19) 19 July 1945 (age 76)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Alma mater
Doctoral advisorDavid Mervyn Blow
Known forCryo-electron microscopy
Notable awards

Richard Henderson (born 19 July 1945) is a Scottish molecular biologist and biophysicist. He is a pioneer in the field of electron microscopy of biological molecules. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2017 with Jacques Dubochet and Joachim Frank.

Henderson has worked at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB) in Cambridge since 1973, and was its director between 1996 and 2006. He was also a visiting professor at the Miller Institute of the University of California, Berkeley in Spring 1993.[2]

He worked out the structure of bacteriorhodopsin, a molecule in bacteria.[3] The molecule captures energy from light, and uses it to move protons out of the cell. This was the second ever atomic model of a membrane protein. The techniques Henderson developed for electron crystallography are still in use.

Henderson's methods help to solve the structures of several G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs). They are a large protein family of receptors that detect molecules outside the cell. They activate internal signal transduction pathways. This leads to cell responses to the molecules outside the cell.


  1. Louis-Jeantet Prize
  2. cv of Richard Henderson [1]
  3. Henderson R. et al 1990. Model for the structure of bacteriorhodopsin based on high-resolution electron cryo-microscopy. Journal of Molecular Biology. 213: 899–929. [2]