Jerker Porath, Swedish biochemist, Died at 94


Jerker Porath was born on October 23, 1921, in Sala and died on January 21, 2016, in Lund.

He was a Swedish biochemist.

He invented several separation methods for biomolecules.

He received his education at Uppsala University and initially did research in organic chemistry under Arne Fredga, where he got his licentiate degree.

Following receiving his scholarship to an institute in Heidelberg, he got an interest in biochemistry and switched to Arne Tiselius’ department.

Tiselius recommended Mr. Porath to make an analysis visit to Choh Hao Li and his Hormone Research Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley where Porath stayed 1951-1952.

When he was in Uppsala, he developed methods for zone electrophoresis and ion exchange chromatography for hormone purification.

Jerker gained his Ph.D. 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.

In 1957, he discovered that columns filled with dextran gel could be used as “molecular sieves” to separate biomolecules by size.

In 1971, Porath was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and a few years later a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Jerker Porath passed away at 94 yr old.