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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Nobel Laureates: Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1964.

"for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances"

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910-1994) was one of the pioneers of X-ray crystallography. Her many achievements include the first X-ray diffraction pattern of a protein in 1934 (with J.D. Bernal), and the structures of penicillin, vitamin B12, insulin, and tobacco mosaic virus. She did most of her work in Oxford from 1934 until her retirement in 1979.

Her Nobel Prize was in recognition of her enormous contributions to the field of X-ray crystallography, especially her work on the structure of vitamin B12. When she published the structure in 1954, it was the largest molecule whose three dimensional structure had been solved.

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