Britton Chance - Career

Career

During World War II, Chance worked for the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which was working on the development of radar. In 1952, he received his D.Sc. from Cambridge.

His research interests were diverse. He was promoted as the Professor of Biophysics at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and appointed the second director of the Johnson Foundation, a position he held until 1983. He was then appointed E. R. Johnson Professor of Biophysics and Physical Biochemistry (later renamed as Biochemistry and Biophysics) in 1964 and University Professor in 1977.

In his early career, he was mainly working on enzyme structure and function. He had invented the now standard stopped flow device to measure the existence of the enzyme-substrate complex in enzyme reaction. In later years, while retaining his interest in those fields, he also focused on metabolic control phenomena in living tissues as studied by noninvasive technique such as phosphorus NMR and optical spectroscopy and fluorometry, including the use of infrared light to characterize the properties of various tissues and breast tumors.

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