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Richard Laurence Millington Synge (born Liverpool, October 28, 1914, died Norwich, August 18, 1994 ) was a British biochemist, and winner of the 1952 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the invention of partition chromatography.

Richard Laurence Millington Synge
Born October 28, 1914(1914-10-28)
Liverpool, England
Died August 18, 1994 (aged 79)
Norwich, England
Fields biochemist
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1952)

He was a close friend of John H. Humphrey. Educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge, he spent his entire career in research, at locations including Wool Industries Research Association, Leeds (1941-1943), Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, London (1943-1948), Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen (1948-1967), and Food Research Institute, Norwich (1967-1976).

It was during his time in Leeds that he worked with Archer Martin, developing partition chromatography, a technique used in the separation mixtures of similar chemicals, that revolutionized analytical chemistry. Between 1942 and 1948 he studied peptides of the protein group gramicidin, work later used by Frederick Sanger in determining the structure of insulin.

He was for several years the treasurer of the Chemical Information Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry.


  • Hugh Gordon (1996). "Richard Laurence Millington Synge. 28 October 1914-18 August 1994". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 42: 454-479. 
  • Sidney Elsden. "Richard Laurence Millington Synge". 


  • Synge's Nobel Foundation biography
  • Synge's Nobel Lecture Applications of Partition Chromatography

Chemistry Encyclopedia

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