Lubert Stryer

Lubert Stryer ( born March 2, 1938 in Tianjin, China) is an American biochemist and molecular biologist.


Stryer is the son of German - Russian parents who emigrated before World War II to China. The family arrived in 1948 in the United States.

Stryer studied at the University of Chicago with a bachelor's degree in 1957 and at Harvard Medical School with MD Completion in 1961. As a post-doctoral researcher he was Helen Hay Whitney to 1963 Research Fellow at Harvard University and at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge with John Kendrew ( with Francis Crick and Max Perutz as a colleague ). In 1963 he became an assistant professor and later associate professor of biochemistry at Stanford University, where he came under the influence of Arthur Kornberg, Paul Berg and Robert Baldwin. From 1969 he was Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University. 1967 to 1971 he was a consultant to the National Institutes of Health. From 1976 he was George A. Winzer Professor of Cell Biology and Head of the newly established Department of Structural Biology at Stanford University.


His research focuses on the interaction of light and biomolecules.

In the 1960s, he examined the energy transfer in light-sensitive biological macromolecules ( chromophores ) with fluorescence spectroscopy, in particular a theory of short-range ( less than the respective wavelength of light ) energy transfer after Theodor Förster ( Förster resonance energy transfer, FRET). In particular, in 1967 he was with Dick Haugland, that the FRET with the sixth power of the distance of the donor and receptor decreases as Förster predicted. He also found that FRET to measure the distance between two points can be used in a protein macromolecule. The method of a spectroscopic ruler ( Spectroscopic Rulers ) is used extensively by many laboratories today.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he explored the molecular mechanisms underlying the early stages of visual perception and the amplification mechanisms involved, such as the cGMP cascade after photoexcitation of rhodopsin Sehmoleküls. They discovered the molecule transducin and explained their research to the high sensitivity of photoreceptor cells to light. His lab also explored the role of calcium in feedback processes in the primary process of vision.

In the 1990s he developed with Stephen Fodor and other light -activated synthesis of combinatorial libraries of proteins and oligonucleotides on the chip. These techniques have been used commercially by the pharmaceutical company Affymetrix in Santa Clara, whose advisor is Stryer. Your microarray gene chip he developed at Affymax ( the precursor of Affymetrix ) in 1989, while he was temporarily on leave from Stanford left the company to start with. He was a year its president. With colleagues at Berkeley, he also developed multi-colored fluorescent marker for fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.

He is also known for its widely used textbook of biochemistry, which first appeared in 1975.

Honors and Memberships

Stryer 2006 received the National Medal of Science. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1984 ), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1975) and the American Philosophical Society (2006). He was made an honorary Doctor of the University of Chicago in 1992.


Stryer is married to Andrea Stern since 1958 and has two sons. Privately, he deals with photography and traveled to search for motifs in remote places like Antarctica, Arctic, the Galapagos Islands and in Africa.


  • L. Stryer Biochemistry, Oxford University Press, 6th edition 2007, ISBN 978-3-8274-1800-5 English original: Biochemistry, 7th Edition, Freeman, San Francisco 2012 ( with Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymoczko, with the assistance of Gregory J. Gatto, Jr.)
  • L. Stryer, John L. Tymoczko, Jeremy M. Berg, Biochemistry: a short course, Freeman, San Francisco 2011
  • Stryer L. Molecular design of life, Freeman, San Francisco 1989
  • John Dowling, L. Stryer, Torsten Wiesel (Editor) Colloquium on Vision: from photon to perception, National Academy of Science in 2000