Weber, Gregorio (1916-1997) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Weber, Gregorio (1916-1997)


Historical Note:

Gregorio Weber (1916-1997) was professor of biochemistry (1962-86) and professor emeritus (1986-97) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He was a leading biochemist renowned for pioneering the field of fluorescent spectroscopy as well as for his vital contributions to protein chemistry.

Weber was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 4, 1916. He earned a M.D. from the University of Buenos Aires (1943) and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge (1947). His Ph.D. thesis, "Fluorescence of Riboflavin, Diaphorase and Related Substances," was the first to introduce the quantitative application of fluorescence spectroscopy to biochemistry. He held an independent research position at Cambridge (1947-53) and faculty positions in the Department of Biochemistry at Sheffield University (1953-62) before accepting a professorship at UIUC in 1962. Over the course of his career, Weber's many contributions to fluorescence microscopy, optical imaging, clinical chemistry, and genome sequencing included the classical method of measurement of the absolute quantum yield of fluorescence; the earliest use of electronic energy transfer in the study of proteins; the formulation of depolarization by energy transfer; and a description of the red-edge effect. Weber also created physical techniques in protein chemistry; pioneered protein dynamics; and established standard free energy couplings between pairs of bound ligands (Dept. of Chemistry). He "combined florescence and hydrostatic pressure methods" as well as temperature to study molecular complexes and proteins in a new way (Dept. of Chemistry). His 1992 book Protein Interactions reflects his lifetime of innovative research.

Weber was honored by the American Chemical Society with the first Repligen Award (1986); the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences Rumford Prize (1980); and the first International Jablonski Award for Fluorescence Spectroscopy (1997). He was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Exact Sciences of Argentina.

Weber died on July 18, 1997.

Sources:

"Gregorio Weber," National Academy of Sciences, accessed May 14, 2020, http://www.nasonline.org/member-directory/deceased-members/49329.html.

"The International Jablonski Award," accessed May 14, 2020, http://fizyka.umk.pl/~lum98/award.html.

"Weber, Gregorio (1916-1997)," Department of Chemistry (UIUC), accessed May 14, 2020, https://chemistry.illinois.edu/spotlight/faculty/weber-gregorio-1916-1997.

Wikipedia, s.v. "Gregorio Weber," accessed May 14, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorio_Weber.




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