Francis Crick (Francis Harry Compton Crick)

Francis Crick

Francis Harry Compton Crick OM FRS[1][4] (8 June 1916 – 28 July 2004) was a British molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist, most noted for being a co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953 with James Watson and Rosalind Franklin. Together with Watson and Maurice Wilkins, he was jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”. Francis Crick was an important theoretical molecular biologist and played a crucial role in research related to revealing the helical structure of DNA. He is widely known for use of the term “central dogma” to summarize the idea that genetic information flow in cells is essentially one-way, from DNA to RNA to protein. During the remainder of his career, he held the post of J.W. Kieckhefer Distinguished Research Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. His later research centered on theoretical neurobiology and attempts to advance the scientific study of human consciousness. He remained in this post until his death; “he was editing a manuscript on his death bed, a scientist until the bitter end” according to Christof Koch. Francis Crick died of colon cancer on the morning of 28 July 2004 at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Thornton Hospital in La Jolla; he was cremated and his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. A public memorial was held on 27 September 2004 at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, near San Diego, California; guest speakers included James Watson, Sydney Brenner, Alex Rich, Seymour Benzer, Aaron Klug, Christof Koch, Pat Churchland, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Tomaso Poggio, Leslie Orgel, Terry Sejnowski, his son Michael Crick, and his youngest daughter Jacqueline Nichols. A private memorial for family and colleagues was held on 3 August 2004.


  • June, 08, 1916
  • United Kingdom
  • Weston Favell, Northamptonshire, England


  • July, 28, 2004
  • USA
  • San Diego, California

Cause of Death

  • colon cancer


  • Cremated

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