Dorothy Hodgkin, British chemist

Dorothy Hodgkin, British chemist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Dorothy Mary Hodgkin (1910-1994), British chemist. Hodgkin (nee Crowfoot) pioneered the use of X-ray diffraction for determining the structure of biomolecules. She used this method to discover the structure of penicillin in 1945, and that of vitamin B12 in 1956, for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964. In 1972 she described the structure of insulin, a large and complex molecule with 800 atoms, a project she had started in the 1930s. In 1965, Hodgkin was made a member of the Order of Merit (OM), only the second woman so honoured. She was the first woman to be awarded the Royal Society's Copley Medal (1976).

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