“Breathing at High Altitude” is an exhibition dedicated to the personal life and science of Max F. Perutz, a pioneer of 20th century molecular biology. Born in 1914 in Vienna, he later emigrated to the UK, where he began to explore the structure of proteins in Cambridge. In 1940, he was interned and deported to Canada as an enemy alien, only to be brought back and set to work on a bizarre top-secret war project.
In 1947, he founded the small research group at the LMB in Cambridge in which Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the structure of DNA. His own twenty-two year quest to reveal the structure of hemoglobin was finally rewarded with a Nobel Prize in 1962 and launched a new era of medicine. Beyond intellectual brilliance, Max Perutz stands out as an ambassador for science and human rights and as an inspiration for young scientists.
“Breathing at High Altitude” sheds light on Max Perutz’s fascinating life, celebrates his love for mountains, and visualizes “breathing” in a unique way. It will be a rewarding experience for scientists and non-scientists alike.
Georgina Ferry, Max Perutz´s biographer
On the occasion of the newly published German translation of the biography "Max Perutz and the Secret of Life", the Austrian Academy of Sciences together with the Max Perutz Labs invited to the presentation of the book including a discussion.
Klaus Taschwer (Der Standard) talked with Perutz biographer Georgina Ferry about the life, work and legacy of the Austrian-British biochemist and Cornelius Obonya read from the German version.
Max Ferdinand Perutz was born in Vienna on May 19, 1914, to a Jewish family. His life was marked by emigration to Great Britain in 1936, prison terms, and life as an "enemy alien". Years of tireless research followed, during which he headed the world-famous Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (UK). In 1962 his scientific endeavours were finally rewarded with the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Date: June 13, 2022
Time: 18:30 - 19:30
Location: Austrian Academy of Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften), Theatersaal, Sonnenfelsgasse 19, 1010 Vienna
Max Perutz’ scientific journey from the Theresianum in Vienna to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge arguably laid the foundations of modern molecular biology. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962 for his work on hemoglobin, Max’ legacy continues today at the research institute that bears his name in the city where he was born.
Professor Leonard talked about Max’ natural curiosity, the scientific question that he dedicated most of his life to answering - how does hemoglobin transport oxygen? - and the tireless perseverance required to achieve his goal - an exhilarating adventure into the mountains, where the views are breathtaking and the summit is simply staggering.
Date: May 31, 2022
Time: 18:00 – 19:00
Location: University of Vienna, Marietta Blau lecture hall and courtyard (Arkadenhof)