ROBERT BRAINARD COREY

August 19, 1897–April 23, 1971

BY RICHARD E. MARSH

ROBERT COREY'S SCIENTIFIC career will always be identified with Linus Pauling. He worked closely with Pauling during the exciting years of the 1940s and early 1950s at the California Institute of Technology, where the basic concepts of structural biology, including the α helix and the β sheet, were being formulated. While it was Pauling who had the intuition and imagination that produced these wonderful concepts, it was Corey who was primarily responsible for proving them correct by carrying out the necessary diffraction experiments. A major product of Corey's work was the development of atomic models to study the arrangements of atoms and configurations of amino acid arrangements in proteins of all types; his name survives as the first initial in the naming of the CPK models, which are still in extensive use.1

PERSONAL HISTORY

Sometime in his youth—I don't know when or why—he was given the nickname "Jim"; his wife and intimate friends continued to call him Jim throughout his life. Professionally he was Bob, and that is the name I shall use.

Bob Corey was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, the first of two sons of Fred Brainard Corey and Caroline



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement