Dorothy Crowfoot, the biochemist who unraveled the structure of insulin

Dorothy Crowfoot, the biochemist who unraveled the structure of insulin

Today we return to the section of women scientists with a biochemistry whose work was so exceptional that he ended up being rewarded with obtaining the Nobel Prize.

As we have told you on so many occasions, the life of these researchers of history was not an easy journey, since the female sector was not very well seen in scientific circles. However, most did not give up and carried out commendable works, such as Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin.

This woman used the X-ray diffraction to describe the structure of a large number of molecules of enormous biochemical interest, thereby contributing to their greater knowledge and, therefore, to the development of treatments addressed to them.

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Biography

Despite its British origin, circumstances led to Dorothy’s birth in Cairo, in 1.910.

His father worked for him Egyptian Education Service and later he was transferred to Sudn, so his childhood was marked by numerous residence changes. This led her to develop a great interest in nature and el flower collecting, the art and the ancient textile remains.

His return to United Kingdom occurred with the arrival of the First World War, when her parents sent Dorothy and her sisters to live with their grandparents, in Worthing.

There he continued to develop his interest in science until his university stage, in which I decided study chemistry in Oxford. During his last year of career he specialized in X-ray crystallography and later it happened to Cambridge to work with John Desmond Bernal, one of the most important scientists of the time in that area.

With all his new knowledge he went back to Oxfordwhere he spent the rest of his career, during which he made great discoveries in the field of biochemistry.

In 1964 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, becoming the third woman to do so, after Marie Curie and Irene Joliot-Curie.

Later, his great interest in intellectual exchange between scientists I took her to Pugwash Conferences of science and world affairs and to receive the Lenin Peace Prize, granted by the Soviet Union, in 1985-1986.

He later died in 1994, leaving behind a great scientific legacy.

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin’s contributions to science

As I was saying, his mastery of X-ray crystallography led her to describe the three-dimensional structure of biomolecules as important as cholesterol, penicillin, vitamin B12, suprasterol, insulin, lactoglobulin, ferritin and tobacco mosaic virus.

In addition, she and her collaborators also set out to discover the structure of the vitamin D2 and an antibiotic, called gramicidin.

All this was a good starting gun for the development of new research on all these compounds, leading to discoveries of great importance for the Human health.

Therefore, together with the example of Rosalind Franklin, we find a new case of a great woman who determined the structure of biomolecules of great importance thanks to the X-ray crystallography. A deserved Nobel Prize, without a doubt.

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