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Alexander R. Todd

Alexander R. ToddAKA Alexander Robertus Todd

Born: 2-Oct-1907
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: 10-Jan-1997
Location of death: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: Scotland
Executive summary: Nucleic acid, nucleotides

Alexander R. Todd was given a chemistry set when he was eight years old, igniting a lifelong passion for science. He studied the structure and synthesis of nucleic acid, nucleotides, and nucleotide coenzymes. His best-known work showed how nucleotides found in chromosomes of cell plasma and cell-kernels, crucial to heredity, and constructed of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and sugar in a single macromolecule are interconnected. He successfully synthesized adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an essential nucleoside, in 1949, and synthesized flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) in 1954. He described the structure of vitamin B12 in 1955. He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1957. His wife was the daughter of Nobel laureate Henry Dale.

Father: Alexander Robertus Todd (businessman, b. 1877)
Mother: Jean Lowrie
Daughter: Jean
Son: Robert
Wife: Alison Sarah Dale (dau. of Henry Dale, one son, two daughters)
Son: Alexander Henry
Daughter: Helen Jean
Daughter: Hilary Alison

    High School: Allan Glen's School, Glasgow, Scotland (1924)
    University: BS, University of Glasgow (1928)
    University: PhD, University of Frankfurt (1931)
    University: PhD, Oriel College, Oxford University (1933)
    Teacher: Chemistry, University of Edinburgh (1934-36)
    Scholar: Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, Chelsea, England (1936-37)
    Teacher: Reader in Biochemistry, University of London (1937-38)
    Professor: Sir Samuel Hall Professor of Chemistry, University of Manchester (1938-44)
    Professor: Organic Chemistry, Cambridge University (1944-75)
    Fellow: Christ's College, Cambridge University (1944-78)
    Administrator: Master, Christ's College, Cambridge University (1944-78)
    Administrator: Chancellor, University of Strathclyde (1975-78)
    Professor: Visiting Professor, University of Hertfordshire (1978-86)

    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1957
    Davy Medal 1949
    Knight of the British Empire 1954
    Royal Medal 1955
    Life Peerage 16-Apr-1962, as Baron Todd of Trumpington
    Copley Medal 1970
    Order of Merit 1977
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member
    Austrian Academy of Science Foreign Member
    French Chemical Society Foreign Member
    German Chemical Society Foreign Member
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Member
    New York Academy of Medicine Foreign Member
    Royal Australian Chemical Institute Foreign Member
    Royal Society of Chemistry President, Chemical Society of London, 1960-62
    Royal Society 1942
    Royal Society President, 1975
    Royal Society of Edinburgh
    Spanish Council of Scientific Investigation Foreign Member
    Worshipful Company of Salters Master, 1961-62
    Heart Attack 1971

Author of books:
Perspectives in Organic Chemistry (1957, non-fiction)
A Time to Remember (1983, memoir)


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