Frank Westheimer – developed the photoaffinity labeling of proteins

Frank Westheimer – developed the photoaffinity labeling of proteins

Category : Personalities
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Biography & contributions

Frank Westheimer (Frank Henry Westheimer) was an American chemist born on January 15, 1912 – died on April 14, 2007. Westheimer was developer of idea of photoaffinity labeling of the active site of proteins.

He was the winner of Priestley Medal in the year of 1988, National Medal of Science, National Academy Award in Chemical Sciences and Robert A. Welch Foundation Award. He integrated the fields of physical and organic chemistry.

Westheimer studied the reaction mechanisms, isotopes and oxidation with a landmark study of chromic acid oxidations. He also approached the reactions of phosphate transfer through mechanisms that involve five-coordinate intermediates. Westheimer proposed ATP transfers phosphate through a reactive monomeric metaphosphate species.

He also approached the reactions of phosphate transfer through mechanisms that involve five-coordinate intermediates. He showed the significance of this route and the importance of stereochemical rearrangements of the intermediates.

Facts about Chromic acid


Chromic acid is a strong acid and a reagent for oxidizing alcohols to ketones and carboxylic acids. Chromic acid is a strong oxidizing agent, used to oxidize many classes of organic compounds, the most common of which is alcohols. Chromic acid is an intermediate in chromium plating, and is also used in ceramic glazes, and colored glass. Because a solution of chromic acid in sulfuric acid is a powerful oxidizing agent, it can be used to clean laboratory glassware, particularly of otherwise insoluble organic residues.

Chromic acid was widely used in the instrument repair industry, due to its ability to brighten raw brass. Chromic acid in aqueous sulfuric acid and acetone is known as the Jones reagent, which will oxidize primary and secondary alcohols to carboxylic acids and ketones respectively, while rarely affecting unsaturated bonds. Chromic acid is used to produce salt-free CCA type wood preservatives. Chromic acid is used in the anodizing of aluminum.

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