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The Rosalind Franklin Building

Rosalind_Franklin_webRosalind Franklin (1920-1958) was a British biophysicist, physicist, chemist, biologist and X-ray crystallographer who made contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal and graphite. 

Her father was decidedly against higher education for women and wanted Rosalind to be a social worker. Ultimately he relented, and in 1938 she enrolled at Newnham College, Cambridge, graduating in 1941, but was only awarded a degree titular as women were not entitled to degrees at that time.  She received a PhD from Ohio University in 1945. Rosalindis best known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA, she also led pioneering work on the tobacco mosaic and polio viruses. 

Rosalind Franklin was responsible for much of the research and discovery work that led to the understanding of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA. James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins received a Nobel Prize for the double-helix model of DNA in 1962, four years after Franklin's death at age 37 from ovarian cancer. She was unable to receive the prize as Nobel Prizes cannot be awarded posthumously, she also wasn’t mention in the acceptance speeches.


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