Professor Robert Kerford Morton

Robert Kerford Morton, PhD, FAA

Robert Kerford Morton

Elected in 1957

Short citation at year of election

Distinguished for his contributions to enzyme biochemistry, particularly in the field of cytochromes and phosphatases. Morton has purified alkaline phosphatase by a unique method and has demonstrated the transphosphorylating action of phosphatases. He has greatly contributed to the recognition of the importance of microsomes as centres of enzymic activity. In addition to alkaline phosphatase, microsomes from animal tissues have been shown to contain a hydrogen (electron)-transport system involving a newly­identified haemoprotein (cytochrome b5). A similar system involving cytochrome b3 has been identified in microsomes from plant tissues. Morton has isolated lactic dehydrogenase (cytochrome b2) of yeast in crystalline form, and has shown it to be a protein containing both flavin and haem. His butanol method has proved itself a valuable tool for the purification of other enzymes. 

© 2018 Australian Academy of Science

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