Laurens L.M. van Deenen received the Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics 1976 for his comprehensive research on the structure of bio-membranes.
Biomembranes, which are made of proteins and lipids, are responsible for the maintenance of the structure of the living cell: they control the substances going in and out of the cell.
Van Deenen had been a full professor of biochemistry at the University of Utrecht, and was known as one of the world's pre-eminent specialists in the area of biochemistry and biophysics. Van Deenen was on the editorial staff of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, the largest biochemistry periodical in the world; he was secretary general of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies; and he was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg.
Laurens van Deenen passed away in 1994.