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Keith R. Porter

Keith R. Porter

American biologist
Keith R. Porter
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American biologist
Was Scientist Biologist
From Canada United States of America
Type Science
Gender male
Birth 11 June 1912, Yarmouth, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada
Death 2 May 1997, Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA (aged 84 years)
Star sign Gemini
Harvard University
Acadia University
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship  
Gairdner Foundation International Award 1964
National Medal of Science 1976
Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize 1970
Rosenstiel Award 1982
E. B. Wilson Medal 1981
Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize 1971
Dickson Prize in Science 1972
The details


Keith Roberts Porter (June 11, 1912 – May 2, 1997) was a Canadian-American cell biologist. He performed pioneering biology research using electron microscopy of cells, such as work on the 9 + 2 microtubule structure in the axoneme of cilia. Porter also contributed to the development of other experimental methods for cell culture and nuclear transplantation. He also was responsible for naming the endoplasmic reticulum.

Early life and education

Keith Porter was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on June 11, 1912, the son of Aaron and Josephine Roberts Porter. He was an undergraduate at Acadia University and a graduate student at Harvard University. Starting in the late 1930s he did research at The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. He became a citizen of the United States in 1947.


Porter helped found the American Society for Cell Biology and the Journal of Cell Biology. The Keith R. Porter Endowment for Cell Biology, founded in 1981, supports an annual Keith R. Porter Lecture at the conference of American Society for Cell Biology.

Porter moved to Harvard University in 1961 and to the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1968. When he retired in 1982, at age 70, the university awarded him an honorary degree and renamed “his” building Porter Biosciences. He retired in 1982 and did post-retirement work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Pennsylvania. UMBC's Keith R. Porter Core Imaging Facility is dedicated to Porter.


In 1970, together with Albert Claude and George E. Palade, Porter was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University. Porter's colleagues Albert Claude, Christian de Duve and George E. Palade were awarded a Nobel Prize in 1974 "for describing the structure and function of organelles in biological cells", work that Porter is also well known for.


  • 1964 Gairdner Foundation International Award
  • 1970 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize of Columbia University
  • 1971 Dickson Prize in Science
  • 1971 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize
  • 1976 National Medal of Science
  • 1981 E. B. Wilson Medal
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 25 Oct 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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