He was born to an English mother and Dutch father in Manchester, England. He was educated at The Hague High School and King's College, Cambridge. His main work focused on the study of alkaloids and investigations of simple nitrogenous compounds of biological importance. Barger identified tyramine as one of the compounds responsible for the biological activity of ergot extracts. He also made significant contributions to the synthesis of thyroxine. and vitamin B1
- Regius professor of chemistry, University of Glasgow, 1938–1939
- Professor of chemistry in relation to medicine, University of Edinburgh, 1919–1937
- Professor of chemistry, Royal Holloway College, University of London, 1913–1914
- Head of Chemical Department, Goldsmiths' College, 1909–1913
- Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, 1903–1909
- "Barger, George (BRGR897G)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Harington, C. R.; Barger, G. (1927). "Chemistry of Thyroxine: Constitution and Synthesis of Thyroxine". The Biochemical journal 21 (1): 169–183. PMC 1251886. PMID 16743801.
- Dale, H. H. (1940). "George Barger. 1878-1939". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 3 (8): 63–26. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1940.0006.
- "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
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- Britons discover synthetic thyroxin, T.R. Ybarra, New York Times, Sunday 12 December 1927