Dubochet, Jacques

Dubochet, Jacques, 1942–, Swiss biophysicist and molecular biologist, Ph.D., Univ. of Geneva 1973. Dubochet was a researcher at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg from 1978 to 1987, when he joined the faculty at the Univ. of Lausanne (emeritus from 2007). In 2017 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for their work in developing cryo-electron microscopy, which permits the high-resolution determination of the structure of biomolecules in solution. Dubochet solved the problem of evaporation in the electron microscope's vacuum, which caused biomolecules to collapse and become distorted. In the early 1980s, he vitrified water, cooling it so rapidly that it froze around biological samples protectively without forming water crystals, which also distort with the natural shapes of biomolecules. Cryo-electron microscopy technology enables researchers to visualize previously unseen processes, advancing both the basic understanding of life's chemistry and the development of pharmaceuticals.

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