Britton Chance (Ron Kroon, 1965)
|Born||July 24, 1913|
|Died||November 16, 2010 (aged 97)|
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania (B.A) (1935)|
University of Pennsylvania (M.A.) (1936)
University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D) (1940)
Cambridge University (Ph.D) (1942)
|Known for||Enzyme kinetics|
|Spouse(s)||Jane Earle Lindenmayer|
(m. after 1938, unknown)
Lilian Streeter Lucas Chance
(m. after 1956, unknown)
(m. after 2010, died)
|Children||Eleanor Chance |
Britton Chance Jr.
Ann Lucas Chance
Gerald B. Lucas Chance
A. Brooke Lucas Chance
William C. Lucas Chance
|Awards||Member NAS (1952)|
National Medal of Science (1974)
|Institutions||University of Pennsylvania USA, NCKU Taiwan|
|Representing the United States|
|1952 Helsinki||5.5 metre class|
|1962 Poole||5.5 metre class|
At the 1952 Summer Olympics, Chance won a gold medal in sailing.
Early life and education
Chance was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He received a B.A. (1935), M.A. (1936), and Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry (1940) at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of St. Anthony Hall.
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 the 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. He was a pioneer in the numerical simulations of biochemical reactions and metabolic pathways.
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.
He was visiting distinguished chair professor at NCKU Taiwan from 2009 - 2010.
Chance married Jane Earle (1920–2014) on March 4, 1938. This couple divorced. They had 2 children: Eleanor and Britton. He married Lilian Streeter Lucas (1927–2013) on November 1956. They also divorced. They had 4 children: Margaret, Lilian, Benjamin and Samuel. Finally he married Shoko Nioka (born 1947) on February 2010. They had 2 children: Jan and Peter. Britton Chance also had stepchildren: Ann Lucas, Gerald B. Lucas, A. Brooke Lucas and William C. Lucas.
Awards and recognitions
Chance joined the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1952. He received the National Medal of Science in 1974. He was also previously elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Medical Sciences, in 1968, as well as a foreign member of the Royal Society (London) in 1981. In 1971 he was elected a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He died in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in November 2010.
- MDs from: Karolinska Institute (in 1962), University of Düsseldorf (1991), University of Buenos Aires (1993), University of Copenhagen (1995), Universita Degli Studi Di Roma "Tor Vergata" (1997).
- D.Sc. degrees from: Medical College of Ohio at Toledo in 1974, Semmelweis University in 1976, Hahnemann Medical College in 1977, University of Pennsylvania in 1985, University of Helsinki in 1990. He was also made an Overseas Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.
- Hon. DSc from NCKU Taiwan in 2008
- Paul-Lewis Award in Enzyme Chemistry, 1950
- John Price Wetherill Medal, 1966
- Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to Medicine, College of Physicians, USA, 1987
- Biological physics award of the American Physical Society, 1987
- Gold Medal, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, USA, 1988
- John Scott Award of the City of Philadelphia, 1992
- SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering Fellow, 2007
- APS - Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2007
- Molecular Imaging Achievement Award from the Society for Molecular Imaging, USA, 2008
- ICAS Distinguished Fellow
- ICAS Liberty Award Recipient
Awards named after Britton Chance
- The International Society on Oxygen Transport to Tissue (ISOTT) established The Britton Chance Award in honor of Professor Chance's long-standing commitment, interest and contributions to the science and engineering aspects of oxygen transport to tissue and to the society. This award was first presented in 2004 during the annual conference of ISOTT in Bari, Italy.
- SPIE has established Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award, honoring his significant contribution to biomedical optics. The award will be presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of biomedical optics through the development of innovative, high-impact biophotonic technologies. In particular, the award will acknowledge pioneering contributions to biophotonic methods and devices that have significant promise to accelerate or have already facilitated new discoveries in biology or medicine, and will target achievements that span disciplines and may include elements of basic research, technology development, and clinical translation.
- Kresge N, Simoni RD, Hill RL. Britton Chance: Olympian and Developer of Stop-Flow Methods. J. Biol. Chem., Vol. 279, Issue 50, 10, December 10, 2004.
- Chance, B., Greenstein, D. S., Higgins, J. & Yang, C. C. The mechanism of catalase action. II. Electric analog computer studies. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 37, 322–339 (1952).
- Chance, Britton and Garfinkel, David and Higgins, Joseph and Hess, Benno. Metabolic control mechanisms. V. A solution for the equations representing interaction between glycolysis and respiration in ascites tumor cells. J. biol. Chem. 235, 2726-2439 (1960)
- "Britton Chance Biography". Penn University Archives and Records Center. 2020.
- "NCKU develops cancer detector for home use, Taipei Times, 2009".
- "USA Olympic Sailing Alumni". US Sailing. 2020.
- National Science Foundation - The President's National Medal of Science
- "List of Members". www.leopoldina.org. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- Weber, Bruce (2010-11-28). "Britton Chance, Olympian and Biophysics Researcher, Dies at 97". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
- "NCKU "Inducts" Two World Class Scientists, 2008".
- "ISOT Awards". Archived from the original on 2011-01-16. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- SPIE honors Britton Chance with new biomedical optics award
- Britton Chance at Find a Grave
- Jane Earle Lindenmayer at Find a Grave
- Lilian Streeter Lucas Chance at Find a Grave
- A tribute to Britton Chance courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania
- A tribute to Britton Chance
- Faculty Home Page by the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics of Penn Medd
- a long CV of Prof. Britton Chance
- Britton Chance: His Life, Times, And Legacy
- 100 Greatest Discoveries - Biology
- Britton Chance Papers, American Philosophical Society
- Britton Chance (July 24, 1913 — November 16, 2010)
- [radar war https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/labs/chance/radar.html]