Prof. Stephen Curry (blogger and a person that was very supportive when I started this blog now over 2 years ago) leads a round table discussion about the scientific career of Max Perutz.
Work began on hemoglobin in 1937, which led to a low resolution in 1957 and completion in 1959. Perutz mentions struggling with the phase problem until 1953, which is 16 years after beginning the project. He ended up using the heavy atom method to solve the structure.
Max Perutz, “In retrospect, you know it looks… like this marvelous persistence carrying on like that but… I carried on out of desperation.”