David Mervyn Blow

David Mervyn Blow

David Mervyn Blow
Born (1931-06-27)27 June 1931
Birmingham, England
Died 8 June 2004(2004-06-08) (aged 72)
Appledore, North Devon, England
Nationality British
Fields Biophysicist
Institutions Imperial College London
Alma mater Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Known for Haemoglobin
X-ray crystallography

David Mervyn Blow FRS[1] (27 June 1931 – 8 June 2004) was an influential British biophysicist. He was best known for the development of X-ray crystallography, a technique used to determine the molecular structures of tens of thousands of biological molecules. This has been extremely important to the pharmaceutical industry.[2]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life and education

Blow was born in Birmingham, England. As a youth, he attended Kingswood School in Bath, England, where he won a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.


Following graduation from Cambridge, Blow spent two years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In 1954, he met Max Perutz;[3] they began to study a new technique wherein X-rays would be passed through a protein sample. This eventually led to the creation of a three-dimensional structure of haemoglobin.

Blow was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1972.

Blow became professor of biophysics at Imperial College London in 1977.

Personal life

Blow married Mavis Sears in 1955, and they had two children.

Blow died of lung cancer at the age of 72, in Appledore, England.


  1. ^ Henderson, R.; Franks, N. P. (2009). "David Mervyn Blow. 27 June 1931 -- 8 June 2004".  
  2. ^ Vrielink, A. (2005). "David Mervyn Blow". Physics Today 58 (3): 88–81.  
  3. ^ Blow, D. M. (2004). " 

External links

  • Biography in the New York Times
  • Biography in the Guardian