Skip to main content

Keilin, David, 1887-1963 (biochemist and parasitologist)



  • Existence: 1887 - 1963


Professor David Keilin (1887-1963) was born on 21 March 1887 in Moscow. Keilin was of Russian-Jewish extraction and was brought up in Warsaw. He was a student at the Sorbonne and began his scientific work in Paris before moving to Cambridge; his cosmopolitan background is reflected in the many foreign languages used in his notebooks, publications and correspondence, which are noted in the handlist. Professor Keilin began his scientific career as an entomologist and parasitologist, and retained his interest in these subjects throughout his working life in addition to his developing concentration on the biochemistry of cell respiration. For this reason it has not always been possible to date working papers precisely. He suffered from asthma and travelled little; this, together with the very wide range of his scientific interests, was responsible for his extensive correspondence. Summary of the career of Professor Keilin b. 1887 Moscow 1897 - 1904 Educated at Gorski Gymnasium, Warsaw 1904 Liege University 1905 Paris University Began work with Maurice Caullery in Laboratoire d'Evolution des Etres Organises, Paris, on Pollenia Rudis 1913 Married 1914 D.Sc. (Sorbonne) Prix Passet, Société entomologique de France 1914 - 23 Work on morphology and biology of protists 1915 Invited to Cambridge to work with G.H.F. Nuttall, Quick Professor of Biology Work on Pediculus humanus 1920 - 25 Beit Memorial Research Fellow, Cambridge 1920 Began work on cellular respiration using mainly spectroscopic methods 1921 Moved with Nuttall to Molteno Institute for Research in Parasitology, Cambridge 1925 University lecturer in Parasitology, Cambridge Work on cytochrome published 1928 Fellow of the Royal Society 1931 - 52 Quick Professor of Biology and Director of the Molteno Institute; Professorial Fellow, Magdalene College 1934 Croonian Lecturer, Royal Society 1934 - 63 Editor, Parasitology 1934 Work on enzymes, collaborating principally with E.F. Hartree (1934-58) and T. Mann (1937-44) 1939 Royal Medal, Royal Society 1946 Work on Anabiosis 1952 Copley Medal, Royal Society 1955 Membre Associé Etranger, Académie des Sciences, Paris 1957 Honorary Fellow, Magdalene College, Cambridge 1958 Leeuwenhoek Lecture, Royal Society

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


David Keilin: correspondence and papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7953
Dates: 1867-1963