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Insulin, 1935-1988


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Hodgkin's research on this topic began in 1935 when she took the first x-ray photographs of rhombohedral crystals of insulin, given to her by Robert Robinson, Waynflete Professor of Chemistry at Oxford. The structure of insulin proved to be much more complicated than was first imagined and, with a molecular weight of 5780, the measurements and calculations needed to show the arrangement of the atoms present were lengthy and difficult. Thus it was not until 1969 that Hodgkin and her team were able to reveal the three-dimensional structure of rhombohedral 2 zinc insulin. Hodgkin's research on insulin refinements continued into the 1980s.

For overviews of Hodgkin's insulin research, see for example MS. Eng. c. 5644/17 and MS. Eng. c. 5671/23.

The material, which is substantial, covers the period 1935-88, although the bulk dates from the 1950s onwards. There is an extensive correspondence with colleagues and others including letters of congratulation 1969 arising from the announcement of the three-dimensional structure, drafts for reports and publications, notebooks, notes and data.


  • Creation: 1935-1988

Language of Materials

  • English

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom