Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin

Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin
(1910 - 1994)

English chemist whose determination of the structure of vitamin B12 brought her the 1964 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
While at Somerville College, Oxford (1928-32), Hodgkin began her crystallographic studies. While studying for her doctorate at the University of Cambridge in the mid-1930s, she and a coworker took the first X-ray diffraction photograph of the protein pepsin, and somewhat later she made a survey of the sterols. She returned to Oxford as a tutor in 1935, and in 1937 she married the writer and lecturer Thomas L. Hodgkin. She continued to teach at Oxford, eventually becoming emeritus professor there as well as Wolfson research professor of the Royal Society (1960-77), chancellor of Bristol University (1970-88), and fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford (1977-82).

From 1942 to 1949 Hodgkin worked on a structural analysis of penicillin. She and her colleagues made the first X-ray photograph of vitamin B12, one of the most complex nonprotein compounds, in 1948, and eventually they completely determined its atomic arrangement. She completed a similar three-dimensional analysis of insulin in 1969. Hodgkin received the Order of Merit in 1965. She helped scientists in India, China and Africa, and worked for peace as president of the "Pugwash" conferences and the BAAS.

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