Harry Gray


GrayHarry Gray

American chemist Harry B. Gray is an Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. He studies the phenomenon of long-range electron transfer in the interdisciplinary field of inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysics.

He received his BCS in chemistry from the Western Kentucky University, and worked in the field of inorganic chemistry at Northwestern University, where he earned his PhD in 1960. Till 1961 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Copenhagen, studying the electronic structure of metal complexes. Later he worked at Columbia University where he became a professor in 1966, and in the same year he joined the California Institute of Technology, where he was granted the Arnold O. Beckman Professorship of Chemistry. In addition, he was the founding director of the Beckman Institute-where he is doing most of his research ever since.

His research greatly furthered the understanding of the covalent bonds’ role in long range electron transfer. His results pointed out, that electron tunnelling through water is less effective compared to saturated covalent bond-mediated electron tunnelling. Moreover, he set out to understand the role of solvents in long-range electron transfer reactions of excited metal complexes. He also worked on magnetic properties of inorganic substances and NMR spectroscopy.

His major contribution to biology and bioinorganic chemistry is furthering the fundamental understanding of electron transfer chains (mostly via proteins) in live organizations
Using the long-range electron transfer theory he studies the dynamics of the Cytochrome C protein folding with Jay R. Winkler.

Among his most acknowledged awards are the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 2004, the Priestley Medal (1991), and the Harvey Prize in 2000.

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