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Eleanor Dodson elected York's first woman Fellow of the Royal Society

Posted on 19 May 2003

Professor Eleanor Dodson of York's Chemistry Department, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the premier honour for scientists of Britain and the Commonwealth. She is the first woman from the University of York to receive such an honour.

I have been lucky to have a (too long!) career working with a wonderful group of researchers in a rapidly advancing field of structural biology

Professor Eleanor Dodson

Professor Dodson's husband, Professor Guy Dodson, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1994.

'This is a most unexpected honour,' said Eleanor Dodson. 'I have been lucky to have a (too long!) career working with a wonderful group of researchers in a rapidly advancing field of structural biology, where we have been able to develop new techniques to meet ever more complicated challenges.'

Professor Dodson has worked at the University of York since 1976. She has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Melbourne in her native Australia, and worked as a research assistant at the University of Oxford from 1961 to 1976. She was appointed Professor in the Department of Chemistry at York in 2001.

Her research has focused on the development of crystallographic methods for the analysis of large biological molecules such as proteins and DNA. She has made a significant contribution to solving the crystal structures of many proteins.

'The explosion in structural biology has depended on the parallel development of computational methods ever since the 1950s. The Royal Society has recognised Eleanor's extraordinarily important role in inventing new computational approaches to the solution of molecular structures,' said Professor Robin Perutz, Head of the Department of Chemistry.

'The strength of the York Structural Biology Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry lies in the combination of computational, theoretical and experimental methods for analysing crystallographic data on proteins. Eleanor has been working in York on a series of research contracts (never full-time!) since 1976. Many congratulations to both Eleanor and Guy Dodson on bringing us such distinction and forming such an outstanding team and a rare husband and wife FRS pair.'

Election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society is recognised worldwide as a sign of the highest distinction in science. Candidates must be proposed by at least six existing Fellows. Women currently represent 9 per cent of all professors in science and engineering departments and 11 per cent of Fellows elected in the past five years.

York's other Fellows of the Royal Society are Professor Geoff Pert (Physics), Professor Dale Sanders (Biology), Professor Ed Corrigan (Mathematics), Emeritus Professor Michael Woolfson (Physics), and Eleanor Dodson's husband, Professor Guy Dodson (Chemistry).

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