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History of YSBL

Protein structural research was established at York in 1976 with the arrival of Eleanor and Guy Dodson. Rod Hubbard and Keith Wilson were appointed in 1983 as lecturers and together this team began the build-up of research into the development and application of the methods of protein structural analysis. 

During the 1980s, the laboratory grew significantly through funding from Novo Nordisk (now Novozymes A/S) and the SERC Protein Engineering Initiative. The stature of the work was recognised through unique Consolidate Award funding from the SERC (BBSRC) and the appointment of Tony Wilkinson to a lectureship in 1989.

During the 1990s, the laboratory was the major research group on campus. In 1993, Guy Dodson left to set up what quickly became a world-renowned structural biology unit at the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill. This was recently moved into the Crick Institute. YSBL continued to flourish, becoming a BBSRC Structural Biology Centre with considerable funding from research councils and industry. By 2000, YSBL had developed into a group of 80 people covering molecular biology, protein crystallography and molecular modelling. 

The pre-eminence of York for protein crystallography was recognised through the election of both Guy Dodson (1994) and Eleanor Dodson (2002) as FRS. Gideon Davies, who came to York full-time in 1996 and became a professor in 2001, was elected as FRS in 2010. Sadly, Guy passed away in 2012. 

In 2019 the YSBL was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its pioneering work over in protein molecules.

Read more about the history of the laboratory here.

Professor Guy Dodson

Professors Eleanor and Guy Dobson