Chance, Britton

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Britton was born in 1913.

From the description of Britton Chance, American biophyscist and physical biochemist, 1966. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81507963

Britton Chance was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1913. Chance obtained both his B.S. (1935) and M.S. (1936) from the University of Pennsylvania. While his enthusiasm as a boy with yachting with his parents at sea cultivated his interest in applications of electronics, his principal studies at college were in chemistry, a choice that had been influenced by his father's early experience as a chemist. His familiarity with electronic instrumentation, however, enabled him to devise special methods for the study of enzymatic reactions. For his work in the measurement of the reaction kinetics of an enzyme substrate compound named peroxidase, he was granted the Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in 1940. The same year, he was appointed acting director of the Johnson Foundation, a research institute which was affiliated with the University's Department of Biophysics and Physical Biochemistry (Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics since 1975). He earned a second Ph.D. in biology at Cambridge University in 1942.

During the war time, Chance joined the Radiation Laboratory at MIT in 1941 to work on the development of precision timing and computing circuits for bombing and fire control. In 1946, he was granted a Guggenheim fellowship to study in Stockholm, where he resumed his interest in the field of enzyme kinetics and published many papers. He returned to America in 1948 and resumed his teaching in biophysics. In 1949, he was promoted as Professor of Biophysics and appointed director of the Johnson Foundation, a position he held until 1983. He was appointed E.R. Johnson Professor of Biophysics and Physical Biochemistry in 1964 and University Professor in 1977.

He won the Paul Lewis Award in Enzyme Chemistry in 1950 and became a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences the same year. In later years, while retaining his interest in enzyme structure and function, Chance focused his research on metabolic control phenomena in living tissues as studied by noninvasive techniques such as phosphorus NMR and optical spectroscopy and fluorometry, including the use of infrared light to characterize the properties of various tissues and the breast tumors. Chance received the National Medal of Science in 1974.

He holds membership of numerous academic and professional institutions, among them the American Philosophical Society, American Physical Society, Society of Biological Chemists, American Chemical Society, Institute of Radio Engineers, American Physiological Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Royal Society of Arts (London), Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, etc.

Throughout his life time, sailboat racing has been his principal recreation. Chance won a gold medal as a member of the United States team for the 5.5 Meter Class race in the 1952 Summer Olympics.

From the description of Papers, 1940-1995 (University of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 465223415

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn University of Pennsylvania. Office of the President. Assistant to the President for Special Projects. Records, 1977-1994. University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn Anderson, Th. F. (Thomas Foxen), 1911-1991. Papers, 1928-1989. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Francis John Worsley Roughton papers, Circa 1920-1960 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Thomas Foxen Anderson Papers, 1928-1989 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn University of Pennsylvania. University Relations. News and Public Affairs. Records, 1912-1993. University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
creatorOf Chance, Britton. Britton Chance, American biophyscist and physical biochemist, 1966. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Chance, Britton. Papers, 1940-1995 University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn Roughton, Francis John Worsley, 1899-1972. Papers, [ca. 1920s-1960s]. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Rhoads, Jonathan E. Papers, 1802-2002 (bulk 1934-2002) University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Niels Bohr Library. History of physics manuscript biography collection A-C, 1901-1989, [ca. 1960]-1989 (bulk). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Haurowitz mss., 1920-1985 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly
referencedIn Bronk, Detlev W. 1897-1975. Detlev W. Bronk Papers, 1840-1978 (inclusive), 1940-1975 (bulk). Rockefeller Archive Center, Rockefeller University, Pocantico Hills
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Academy of Arts and Sciences. corporateBody
associatedWith American Chemical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Physical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Physiological Society (1887- ) corporateBody
associatedWith American Society of Biological Chemists. corporateBody
associatedWith Anderson, Th. F. (Thomas Foxen), 1911-1991. person
associatedWith Anderson, Thomas Foxen, 1911-1991 person
associatedWith Bronk, Detlev W. 1897-1975. person
correspondedWith Haurowitz, Felix, 1896-1987 person
associatedWith Institute of Radio Engineers. corporateBody
associatedWith Johnson Foundation for Medical Physics corporateBody
associatedWith Kungl. Svenska vetenskapsakademien. corporateBody
associatedWith National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Niels Bohr Library. corporateBody
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Rhoads, Jonathan E. person
associatedWith Roughton, Francis John Worsley, 1899-1972. person
associatedWith Royal Society of Arts (Great Britain) corporateBody
associatedWith University City Science Center. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Cambridge. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Office of the President. Assistant to the President for Special Projects. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. School of Medicine corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. University Relations. News and Public Affairs. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Subject
Research grants
Letters
Notebooks
Physicists--Biography
Biophysics--study and teaching
Biochemistry--Study and teaching
Physics
Biophysics
Dissertations, Academic
Occupation
Biophysicists
Function

Person

Birth 1913-07-24

Death 2010-11-16

English

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