Keilin, David


David Keilin (1887–1963) was born in Moscow and grew up in Poland. At an early age, he moved via Liège to Paris where he acquired a reputation as a parasitologist. In 1914, he moved to Cambridge where he remained for the rest of his life and became the Director of the Molteno Institute. Here, he rediscovered the cytochromes, previously observed by MacMunn whose work was ignored, and went on to describe the respiratory chain. For a while his work brought him into conflict with Otto Warburg over the latter's respiratory enzyme, which Keilin eventually showed was the same as his cytochrome oxidase.

Keywords: Keilin; biochemistry; Cambridge; cytochrome; MacMunn; microspectroscope; Molteno Institute; parasitology; respiratory chain; Warburg

Figure 1. Dr. David Keilin. Photo courtesy of Mrs Keilin‐Whiteley.

Further Reading

Dixon M and Tate P (1966) David Keilin 1887–1963. Journal of General Microbiology (later Microbiology) 45: 159–185.

Keilin D (1966) The History of Respiration and Cytochrome. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Mann T (1964) David Keilin 1887–1963. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 10: 183–197.

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How to Cite close
Prebble, John N(Apr 2015) Keilin, David. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003592]