Hans Neurath

1909 – 2002
Founding Chair
Department of Biochemistry

The founding chair of the Department of Biochemistry, Professor Hans Neurath, passed away on Friday, April 12, 2002. Hans was a man of passion for proteins and for biochemistry, for mountains and for music, and for his dear wife Susi and his children. The department joins his family, countless friends, colleagues, and students in mourning the death of a great man who set the stage for our new world of proteomics, and the application of biomedical research to every aspect of human health and disease.

Neurath founded and chaired the department from 1950 until his formal retirement in 1975, but he remained scientifically active and continued to take a keen interest in the welfare of department for many years thereafter. Indeed, until February 2002, Neurath came to work every day, attended faculty meetings, and (as always!) expressed clear and forceful opinions on almost every subject.

In addition to his many scientific achievements in the field of protein chemistry, Neurath founded two major scientific journals: Biochemistry, a publication of the American Chemical Society, which he edited from 1961 to 1991; and Protein Science, a publication of the Protein Society, which he edited from 1991 to 1998. What better illustration of Neurath’s vision and energy than his decision, at age 81, to found and edit a new high profile journal at the cutting edge of contemporary research? He was not a man to rest on his many laurels.

Hans Neurath Lecturers

In 1983, ZymoGenetics and the Department of Biochemistry established the annual Hans Neurath Lectureship which has brought luminaries to the School of Medicine for two decades. ZymoGenetics, a Seattle biopharmaceutical firm, was founded in 1981 by two University of Washington faculty – Earl Davie, Professor of Biochemistry, who was himself a postdoctoral fellow with Neurath, and Benjamin Hall, Professor of Genetics – together with the late Michael Smith, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia and a 1993 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry for site-directed DNA mutagenesis.

  • 1983 Arthur Kornberg
  • 1984 Manfred Eigen
  • 1985 Peter Reichard
  • 1986 Gerald Edelman
  • 1987 Paul Berg
  • 1988 David Baltimore
  • 1989 Bengt Samuelsson
  • 1990 Michael S. Brown
  • 1991 Harold Varmus
  • 1992 Daniel Nathans
  • 1993 H. Gobind Khorana
  • 1994 Aaron Klug
  • 1995 Edmond Fischer
  • 1996 Johann Deisenhofer
  • 1998 James Spudich
  • 1999 David Eisenberg
  • 2000 J. Michael Bishop
  • 2001 Gunter Blobel
  • 2003 Robert Huber
  • 2004 Linda Buck
  • 2005 Robert Roeder
  • 2006 Nancy Hopkins
  • 2007 Stephen Harrison
  • 2008 Avram Hershko
  • 2009 Christopher Dobson
  • 2012 Randy Schekman
  • 2013 Lewis C. Cantley
  • 2014 Joan A. Steitz
  • 2015 Susan Lindquist
  • 2016 Thomas C. Sudhof
  • 2017 Jennifer Doudna
  • 2018 Eva Nogales
  • 2020 Rachel Green
Contributions to the Neurath Lectureship Fund can be made securely online

or by check made out to:

Department of Biochemistry
c/o Medical Affairs Development
University of Washington
Box 358220
Seattle, WA 98195-8220