Rosalind Franklin Facts

Rosalind Franklin Facts
Rosalind Elsie Franklin (July 25, 1920 to April 16, 1958) was an English chemist and X-ray crystallographer. Her work contributed to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), viruses, coal, and graphite.
Interesting Rosalind Franklin Facts:
Rosalind Elsie Franklin was born in Notting Hill, London, to a wealthy Jewish family.
Her great uncle, Herbert Samuel, was Home Secretary in 1916.
She attended private schools and matriculated at St Paul's Girls' School.
She was a gifted student and excelled in science, Latin, and sports.
She matriculated in 1938 and earned six distinctions and a scholarship to college.
In 1941 she graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge, where she studied the Natural Sciences Tripos.
She received a research fellowship to the University of Cambridge physical chemistry laboratory.
Her mentor there was Ronald Norrish, the winner of the 1967 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
In 1942 she accepted a fellowship to the British Coal Utilisation Research Association.
In 1945 she earned her PhD with a thesis titled, The physical chemistry of solid organic colloids with special reference to coal.
In 1947 she did postdoctoral work in Paris where she continued improving her skills in X-ray crystallography.
In 1950 she received a fellowship to work at King's College, London and in 1951 she began work as a research associate in the Medical Research Council's Biophysics Unit.
Her X-ray diffraction images of the DNA molecule were key to the double helix model of DNA discovered by James Watson and Francis Crick.
She also pioneered work on the molecular structure of tobacco mosaic virus and the polio virus.
In 1953 she moved to Birkbeck College where she was funded by the Agricultural Research Council.
She helped her former assistant, Raymond Gosling, finish his thesis and they jointly published a paper on the helical structure of the A form of DNA in the July issue of Nature.
In 1955 she published her first paper on the Tobacco Mosaic Virus in Nature.
In 1956 she and her PhD student, Kenneth Holmes, published their findings that the covering of the tobacco mosaic virus was a helix.
In 1958 she received a three-year grant from the U.S. National Institute of Health to continue her work on the polio virus.
She enjoyed travel and made several trips to the United States.
It was during a trip to the US in 1956 that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.


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