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Harry B. Gray

Harry Barkus Gray
Harry B. Gray, 2013
Born (1935-11-14) November 14, 1935
Woodburn, Kentucky, U.S.A.
Residence U.S.A.
Nationality American
Fields Chemistry
Institutions Columbia University
California Institute of Technology
Alma mater Western Kentucky University (B.S.) (1957)[1]
Northwestern University (Ph.D) (1960)[2]
Northwestern University (D.Sc.)[3]
Doctoral advisor Fred Basolo
Ralph Pearson
Doctoral students Daniel G. Nocera, Holden Thorp, Jay R. Winkler, Mark S. Wrighton
Other notable students Nathan Lewis
Known for Bioinorganic Chemistry
Electron Transfer chemistry
Notable awards ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1970)
Tolman Award (1979)
National Medal of Science (1986)
Priestley Medal (1991)
Harvey Prize (2000)
Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2004)
Welch Award (2009)
Othmer Gold Medal (2013)

Harry Barkus Gray (born 14 November 1935 in Woodburn, Kentucky, U.S.A.) is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry at California Institute of Technology.[4] He won the Priestley Medal in 1991, Harvey Prize in 2000, The Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry in 2004, and the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 2004. He was inducted into the Alpha Chi Sigma Hall of Fame in 2012.[5] In 2013, he received the Othmer Gold Medal, for outstanding contribution to chemistry and science. [6]


  • Career 1
  • Research 2
  • Wolf Prize 3
  • Major publications 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Gray received his B.S. in Northwestern University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1960 working under Fred Basolo and Ralph Pearson. He was initiated into the Upsilon chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma at Northwestern University in 1958.[7] After that, he spent a year (1960–61) as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Copenhagen, where, along with Dr. Walter A. Manch, he collaborated with Carl J. Ballhausen on studies of the electronic structures of metal complexes.

After completing his NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Copenhagen, he went to New York to take up a faculty appointment at Columbia University. He became an Assistant Professor from 1961 to 1963, Associate Professor from 1963 to 1965 and Professor from 1965 to 1966.

In 1966, he moved to the California Institute of Technology, where he is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and Founding Director of the Beckman Institute.


Gray's interdisciplinary research program addresses a wide range of fundamental problems in biochemistry, and biophysics. Electron transfer (ET) chemistry is a unifying theme for much of this research.

Over the past twenty-five years the Gray group has been measuring the kinetics of long-range ET reactions in metalloproteins labeled with inorganic redox reagents. Early research by his lab members showed that details of the internal structures of the proteins dominate the ET rates.[8] Current research is aimed at understanding how intermediate protein radicals accelerate long-range ET. In collaboration with Jay R. Winkler of the Beckman Institute at Caltech they have developed new techniques for measuring ET rates in crystals of Ru-, Os-, and Re-modified azurins, as well as crystals of Fe(III)-cytochrome c doped with Zn(II)-cytochrome c. This method of integrating photosensitizers into protein crystals has provided a powerful new tool for studying biochemical reaction dynamics. The Gray/Winkler group is also using ET chemistry to probe the dynamics of protein folding in cytochrome c.

Wolf Prize

In 2004, Gray won the electron transfer in proteins."[9][10]

Gray has made seminal contributions to the understanding of chemical bonding of metal complexes, mechanisms of inorganic reactions, spectroscopy and magneto-chemistry of inorganic compounds. His study of the first trigonal prismatic complexes is one such example. Harry Gray’s most significant work lies at the interface between

  • Official site at California Institute of Technology

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Harry B. Gray - Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Harry B. Gray to receive Othmer Gold Medal at Heritage Day 2013".  
  7. ^
  8. ^ Beratan, DN, et al. "Protein electron transfer rates set by the bridging secondary and tertiary structure". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  9. ^ The Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 2004
  10. ^ Harry Gary CV
  11. ^ Full Description


  • Mechanism of Catalytic Oxygenation of Alkanes by Halogenated Iron Porphyrins, M. W. Grinstaff, M. G. Hill, J. A. Labinger, and H. B. Gray, Science 1994, 264, 1311–1313
  • Electron-Tunneling in Proteins - Coupling Through a b-Strand, R. Langen, I-J. Chang, J. P. Germanas, J. H. Richards, J. R. Winkler, and H. B. Gray, Science 1995, 268, 1733-1735.
  • Protein Folding Triggered by Electron Transfer, T. Pascher, J. P. Chesick, J. R. Winkler, and H. B. Gray, Science 1996, 271, 1558-1560.
  • Electron Transfer in Proteins, H. B. Gray and J. R. Winkler, Annu. Rev. Biochem. 1996, 65, 537-561.
  • Protein Folding Triggered by Electron Transfer, J. R. Telford, P. Wittung-Stafshede, H. B. Gray, and J. R. Winkler, Acc. Chem. Res. 1998, 31, 755-763.
  • Substrates for Rapid Delivery of Electrons and Holes to Buried Active Sites in Proteins, J. J. Wilker, I. J. Dmochowski, J. H. Dawson, J. R. Winkler, and H. B. Gray, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 1999, 38, 90-92.
  • Optical Detection of Cytochrome P450 by Sensitizer-Linked Substrates, I. J. Dmochowski, B. R. Crane, J. J. Wilker, J. R. Winkler, and H. B. Gray, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 1999, 96, 12987-12990.
  • Electron Tunneling in Biological Molecules, J. R. Winkler, A. J. Di Bilio, N. A. Farrow, J. H. Richards, and H. B. Gray, Pure Appl. Chem. 1999, 71, 1753-1764.
  • Bond-Mediated Electron Tunneling in Ruthenium-Modified High-Potential Iron-Sulfur Protein, E. Babini, I. Bertini, M. Borsari, F. Capozzi, C. Luchinat, X. Y. Zhang, G. L. C. Moura, I. V. Kurnikov, D. N. Beratan, A. Ponce, A. J. Di Bilio, J. R. Winkler, and H. B. Gray, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2000, 122, 4532-4533.
  • Electron Tunneling Through Water: Oxidative Quenching of Electronically Excited Ru(tpy)22+ (tpy=2,2':6,2"-terpyridine) by Ferric Ions in Aqueous Glasses at 77 K, A. Ponce, H. B. Gray, and J. R. Winkler, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2000, 122, 8187-8191.

Major publications


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