Environment, Biology and Toxicology
Historic review: Frederick Challenger, 1887–1983: chemist and biochemist
Article first published online: 11 MAR 2003
Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Applied Organometallic Chemistry
Volume 17, Issue 4, pages 201–211, April 2003
How to Cite
Chasteen, T. G. and Bentley, R. (2003), Historic review: Frederick Challenger, 1887–1983: chemist and biochemist. Appl. Organometal. Chem., 17: 201–211. doi: 10.1002/aoc.415
- Issue published online: 11 MAR 2003
- Article first published online: 11 MAR 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 DEC 2002
- Manuscript Received: 26 NOV 2002
- Robert A. Welch Foundation.
- SHSU Research Council.
- dimethyl selenide;
- dimethyl telluride;
- biological methylation;
- terpene chemistry;
- fungal metabolites;
- chemistry and biochemistry of sulfur compounds
Frederick Challenger (1887–1983) lived a long life as a chemist and biochemist. He received a PhD for work with O. Wallach at the University of Göttingen in 1912 and a DSc from the University of Birmingham in 1920. After positions at Birmingham, UK, and Manchester, UK, he became Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Leeds, UK, in 1930, remaining as Head of the Department until 1953, when he retired as Emeritus Professor. He continued with scientific activity, publishing his final paper in 1978. Much of his work concerned the biological methylation of metalloids such as arsenic, selenium, and tellurium. He determined precise chemical structures for the methylated products and he established a role for adenosylmethionine in the process. An important finding was that the sulfonium compound, (CH3)2S+CH2CH2COO−, was present in several algae and on decomposition led to production of dimethylsulfide. This sulfonium compound was the first of this class to be found in a plant. He had many other wide-ranging interests, including the organic chemistry of compounds of bismuth and thallium. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.