To Robert Bruce Merrifield, PhD, who introduced a concept for the total synthesis of complicated molecules such as polypeptides, proteins, hormones, and enzymes. His idea was to keep, during synthesis, the peptide chain always attached to a solid—as opposed to previous conventional methods, in which all reactants were in solution.
From this concept the new technique known as "solid phase peptide synthesis" emerged. This work, which is a development of potentially wide therapeutic value, represents a significant advance in medical research, because it permits the numerous chemical operations involved in each step of the synthesis of a complicated molecule to be programmed and carried out automatically. It thus makes many of these important substances more rapidly available for further study.
After designing and constructing an automatic apparatus for this purpose, Dr. Merrifield and his colleagues proved its effectiveness by synthesizing the hormones, bradykinin, angiotensin, and insulin, as well as, more