Rudolph Peters

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Sir Rudolph Albert Peters
Rudolph Albert Peters.jpg
Born (1889-04-13)13 April 1889
Kensington, London, UK
Died 29 January 1982(1982-01-29) (aged 92)
Nationality British
Notable awards Royal Medal (1949)
FRS (1935)[1]

Sir Rudolph Albert Peters FRS[1] (13 April 1889 – 29 January 1982) was a British biochemist. He was elected a FRS in 1935. He led the research team at Oxford who developed British Anti-Lewisite (BAL), an antidote for the chemical warfare agent lewisite. His efforts investigating the mechanism of arsenic war gases were deemed crucial in maintaining battlefield effectiveness.[2]

He was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, King's College London and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.[3]

After the war, he researched pyruvate metabolism, focussing particularly on the toxicity of fluoroacetate. The fact that fluoroacetate in itself is far less toxic than its metabolite fluorocitrate led him to coin the term "lethal synthesis" in 1951.[2][4]


  1. ^ a b Thompson, R. H. S.; Ogston, A. G. (1983). "Rudolph Albert Peters. 13 April 1889-29 January 1982". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 29: 494. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1983.0018. JSTOR 769811. 
  2. ^ a b Anon (1982). "Obituary". BMJ. 284 (6315): 589. doi:10.1136/bmj.284.6315.589. 
  3. ^ ‘PETERS, Sir Rudolph (Albert)’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016
  4. ^ Peters, R. A. (1952). "Croonian Lecture: Lethal Synthesis". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 139 (895): 143–126. doi:10.1098/rspb.1952.0001. 

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