Lubert Stryer

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Lubert Stryer

Lubert Stryer (born March 2, 1938 in Tianjin , China ) is an American biochemist and molecular biologist .


Stryer is the son of German-Russian parents who emigrated to China before World War II . The family came to the United States in 1948.

Stryer graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelor's degree in 1957 and from Harvard Medical School with an MD degree in 1961. As a post-doctoral student , he was a Helen Hay Whitney Research Fellow at Harvard University and the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Medical Research Council in 1963 Cambridge with John Kendrew (with Francis Crick and Max Perutz as colleagues). In 1963 he became an assistant professor and later an associate professor of biochemistry at Stanford University , where he came under the influence of Arthur Kornberg , Paul Berg and Robert Baldwin . From 1969 he was a professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University . From 1967 to 1971 he was an advisor to the National Institutes of Health . From 1976 he was George A. Winzer Professor of Cell Biology and Head of the newly established Department of Structural Biology at Stanford University.


His research focuses on the interaction of light and biomolecules.

In the 1960s he investigated the energy transfer in light-sensitive biological macromolecules ( chromophores ) using fluorescence spectroscopy , in particular a theory of short-range (smaller than the respective light wavelength) energy transfers according to Theodor Förster ( Förster resonance energy transfer , FRET). In particular, he showed in 1967 with Dick Haugland that the FRET decreases with the sixth power of the removal of donor and receptor, as predicted by Förster. He also found that FRET can be used to measure the distance between two sites on a protein macromolecule. The method of a spectroscopic ruler is used today by numerous laboratories around the world.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he researched the molecular mechanisms of the first stages of visual perception and the reinforcement mechanisms involved, for example the cGMP cascade after photoexcitation of the visual molecule rhodopsin . They discovered the transducin molecule and, with their research, explained the high sensitivity of photoreceptor cells to light. His laboratory also researched the role of calcium in feedback processes in the primary visual process.

In the 1990s, with Stephen Fodor and others, he developed light-activated combinatorial synthesis of libraries of proteins and oligonucleotides on chips. These techniques have been by the pharmaceutical company Affymetrix in Santa Clara used commercially, their advisors is Stryer. He helped develop their microarray gene chip at Affymax (the predecessor of Affymetrix) in 1989, while he took a temporary leave of absence from Stanford to help found the company. He was its president for a year. With colleagues in Berkeley , he also developed multicolored fluorescence markers for fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry .

He is also known for his widely used textbook on biochemistry, which first appeared in 1975.

Honors and memberships

In 2006, Stryer received the National Medal of Science . He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1984), the American Association for the Advancement of Science , the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1975) and the American Philosophical Society (2006). In 1992 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Chicago.


Stryer has been married to Andrea Stern since 1958 and has two sons. In his private life, he is engaged in photography and has traveled to remote locations such as the Antarctic, Arctic, Galapagos Islands and Africa in search of motifs.


  • L. Stryer: Biochemistry. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, 6th edition 2007, ISBN 978-3-8274-1800-5
    English original: Biochemistry. 7th edition, Freeman, San Francisco 2012 (with Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymoczko, with assistance from Gregory J. Gatto, Jr.)
  • L. Stryer, John L. Tymoczko , Jeremy M. Berg : Biochemistry. A short course. Freeman, San Francisco 2011
  • L. Stryer: Molecular design of life. Freeman, San Francisco 1989
  • John Dowling, L. Stryer, Torsten Wiesel (editors): Colloquium on vision: from photon to perception , National Academy of Science, Washington DC 2000

Web links

Commons : Lubert Stryer  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Life and career data according to Pamela Kalte u. a. American Men and Women of Science , Thomson Gale 2004
  2. Stryer, Haugland Energy transfer: a spectroscopic ruler , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA , Vol. 58, 1967, pp. 719-725
  3. B. Fung, JB Hurley, L. Stryer Flow of information in the light-triggered cyclic nucleotide cascade of vision , Proc. National Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 78, 1981, pp. 152-156
  4. K.-W. Koch, L. Stryer Highly cooperative feedback control of retinal rod guanylate cyclase by calcium ion , Nature , Volume 334, 1988, pp. 64-66
  5. SPA Fodor, JL Read, MC Pirrung, L. Stryer, AT Lu, D. Solas Light-directed, spatially addressable parallel chemical synthesis , Science , Volume 251, 1991, pp. 767-773