Lubert Stryer
Born(1938-03-02)March 2, 1938
Tianjin, China
DiedApril 8, 2024(2024-04-08) (aged 86)
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationUniversity of Chicago (B.S. 1957)
Harvard Medical School (M.D.)
Known forTextbook Biochemistry (ten editions)
AwardsNational Academy of Sciences, European Inventor of the Year (2006), Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry
Scientific career
FieldsBiochemistry, fluorescence spectroscopy
InstitutionsDepartment of physics at Harvard; MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge, UK; department of biochemistry at Stanford University; Yale University
Notable studentsRichard P. Haugland, Jeremy M. Berg

Lubert Stryer (March 2, 1938 – April 8, 2024) was an American academic who was the Emeritus Mrs. George A. Winzer Professor of Cell Biology, at Stanford University School of Medicine.[1][2] His research over more than four decades had been centered on the interplay of light and life. In 2007 he received the National Medal of Science from President Bush at a ceremony at the White House for elucidating the biochemical basis of signal amplification in vision, pioneering the development of high density microarrays for genetic analysis, and authoring the standard undergraduate biochemistry textbook, Biochemistry.[3] It is now in its tenth edition and also edited by Jeremy Berg, Justin Hines, John L. Tymoczko and Gregory J. Gatto, Jr.[4]

Stryer received his B.S. degree from the University of Chicago in 1957 and his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School. He was a Helen Hay Whitney Research Fellow[5] in the department of physics at Harvard and then at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology[6] in Cambridge, England, before joining the faculty of the department of biochemistry at Stanford in 1963. In 1969 he moved to Yale to become Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and in 1976, he returned to Stanford to head a new Department of Structural Biology.[2][7]

Stryder died in Stanford, California April 8, 2024, at the age of 86.[8]

Research profile

Stryer and coworkers pioneered the use of fluorescence spectroscopy, particularly Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), to monitor the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules.[9][10] In 1967, Stryer and Haugland showed that the efficiency of energy transfer depends on the inverse sixth power of the distance between the donor and acceptor,[11][12] as predicted by Förster's theory. They proposed that energy transfer can serve as a spectroscopic ruler to reveal proximity relationships in biological macromolecules.

A second contribution was Stryer's discovery of the primary stage of amplification in visual excitation.[13][14] Stryer, together with Fung and Hurley, showed that a single photoexcited rhodopsin molecule activates many molecules of transducin, which in turn activate many molecules of a cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase. Stryer's laboratory has also contributed to our understanding of the role of calcium in visual recovery and adaptation.[15][16][17]

Stryer participated in developing light-directed, spatially addressable parallel chemical synthesis for the synthesis of peptides and polynucleotides.[18][19][20] Light-directed combinatorial synthesis has been used by Stephen Fodor and coworkers at Affymetrix to make DNA arrays containing millions of different sequences for genetic analyses.

From 1975, Stryer authored ten editions of the textbook Biochemistry.[21]

Stryer also chaired a National Research Council committee that produced a report entitled Bio2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists.[22][23]


Notable students


  1. ^ "Lubert Stryer".
  2. ^ a b c "Our Apologies | American Philosophical Society". Archived from the original on July 20, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  3. ^ "President to Award 2005-2006 National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology Honoring Nation's Leading Researchers, Inventors and Innovators - NSF - National Science Foundation".
  4. ^ Stryer; et al. (2023). Biochemistry (10 ed.). Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1319498504.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Alumni - MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology". MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
  7. ^ McCarthy, Pumtiwitt. "Everything is illuminated: 'Reflections' on light and life by Lubert Stryer". American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  8. ^ Bai, Nina (May 1, 2024). "Lubert Stryer, luminary scientist of light and life, author of classic textbook, dies at 86". Stanford Medicine. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  9. ^ Stryer, L (1968). "Fluorescence spectroscopy of proteins". Science. 1632 (3853): 526–533. Bibcode:1968Sci...162..526S. doi:10.1126/science.162.3853.526. PMID 5706935.
  10. ^ "Invitrogen - Molecular Probes - Press Release". Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  11. ^ Stryer, L.; Haugland, R.P. (1967). "Energy transfer: a spectroscopic ruler". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 58 (2): 719–725. Bibcode:1967PNAS...58..719S. doi:10.1073/pnas.58.2.719. PMC 335693. PMID 5233469.
  12. ^ Lakowicz, J.R., 2006. Principles of Fluorescence Spectroscopy (Springer, 3rd ed., p. 449)
  13. ^ Fung, B.; Hurley, J.B.; Stryer, L. (1981). "Flow of information in the light-triggered cyclic nucleotide cascade of vision". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 78 (1): 152–156. Bibcode:1981PNAS...78..152F. doi:10.1073/pnas.78.1.152. PMC 319009. PMID 6264430.
  14. ^ "Chemical & Engineering News - Serving the chemical, life sciences and laboratory worlds".
  15. ^ Koch, K.-W.; Stryer, L. (1988). "Highly cooperative feedback control of retinal rod guanylate cyclase by calcium ion". Nature. 334 (6177): 64–66. Bibcode:1988Natur.334...64K. doi:10.1038/334064a0. PMID 2455233. S2CID 4253998.
  16. ^ <Ames, J.B., Ishima, R., Tanaka, T., Gordon, J.I., Stryer, L., Ikura, M., 1997. Molecular mechanics of calcium-myristoyl switches. Nature 389:198-202
  17. ^ Burgoyne, R.D.; Weiss, J.L. (2001). "The neuronal calcium sensor family of Ca2+-binding proteins". Biochem. J. 353 (Pt 1): 1–12. doi:10.1042/bj3530001. PMC 1221537. PMID 11115393.
  18. ^ Fodor, S.P.A.; Read, J.L.; Pirrung, M.C.; Stryer, L.; Lu, A.T.; Solas, D. (1991). "Light-directed, spatially addressable parallel chemical synthesis". Science. 251 (4995): 767–773. Bibcode:1991Sci...251..767F. doi:10.1126/science.1990438. PMID 1990438.
  19. ^ Fodor, S.P.A., Pirrung, M.C., Read, J.L., and Stryer, L., Array of oligonucleotides on a solid substrate. U.S. Patent No. 5,445,934. Issued August 29, 1995
  20. ^ "2007 Newcomb Cleveland Prize Recipients". AAAS - The World's Largest General Scientific Society.
  21. ^ Latchman,D.S. (1995) Trends Biochem. Sci. 20:488.
  22. ^ Council, National Research; Studies, Division on Earth Life; Sciences, Board on Life; Century, Committee on Undergraduate Biology Education to Prepare Research Scientists for the 21st (2003). BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists - The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/10497. ISBN 978-0-309-08535-9. PMID 20669482.((cite book)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ Kennedy, D (2003). "Points of View: Is Bio2010 the Right Blueprint for the Biology of the Future?". Cell Biol Educ. 2 (4): 224–7. doi:10.1187/cbe.03-10-0039. PMC 256982. PMID 14673487.
  24. ^ "Recipients - ACS Division of Biological Chemistry Website".
  25. ^ "American Academy of Arts & Sciences".
  26. ^ "National Academy of Sciences".
  27. ^ "AAAS Awards and Honors". Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  28. ^ 1992 Archived 2019-02-16 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Roche Life Science | Welcome". Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  30. ^ "Lubert Stryer".
  31. ^ European Patent Office. "EPO - Stephen P.A. Fodor, Michael C. Pirrung, J. Leighton Read and Lubert Stryer (Affymax Research Institute, Palo Alto, USA)".
  32. ^ "Faculty & Research".
  33. ^ "Meyer Lab". Archived from the original on April 11, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  34. ^ "Tobias Meyer - Mrs. George A. Winzer Professor in Cell Biology and Professor of Chemical & Systems Biology | Welcome to Bio-X".