Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910-1994)

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910-1994)

Dorothy Crowfoot HodgkinDorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

Nobel laureate chemist

British chemist Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin was born in Cairo. She started to show interest in crystallography after her secondary school graduation. Between 1932 and 1934, she ran several research projects in Cambridge. In collaboration with her colleagues, she was the first to make the first X-ray diffraction studies of pepsin, a crystalline protein. Their achievements brought her widespread fame in this field.

Dorothy was the first to make X-ray diffraction studies of pepsinDorothy was the first to make X-ray diffraction studies of pepsin

From 1942 to 1949, Dorothy and her group conducted experiments in order to analyze the chemical structure of penicillin. The information generated, as a result of the research, proved out to be very useful in developing semi-synthetic antibiotics and making them available to everyone.


In 1948, she took the first X-ray diffraction photos of Vitamin B-12, one of the most complex non protein-type compounds. Finally, she was able to determine the atom arrangement of the molecule. In 1964, she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances. It was in 1969 that the structure of insulin was finally resolved by Dorothy and her set of researchers.


Vitamin B-12

Dorothy got married to Thomas Hodgkin in 1937, and this is when she took her husband's family name. The couple had three children.