Alexander Todd

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Todd, Alexander

 

Born Oct. 2, 1907, in Glasgow. British organic chemist. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1942).

After completing his studies at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt in 1931, Todd worked at a number of educational and scientific institutions. From 1938 to 1944 he headed the chemistry laboratories at the University of Manchester, and in 1944 he became a professor of organic chemistry at Cambridge University. From 1952 to 1964 he was chairman of the British government’s advisory committee on scientific policy. Todd was president of the Chemical Society of Great Britain from 1960 to 1962, and in 1975 he became president of the Royal Society of London.

Todd’s research focused on the chemistry of nucleotides and nucleic acids, laying the foundation for contemporary theories on the structure of these types of compounds and methods of synthesizing them. His other research dealt with synthetic organic chemistry, the chemistry of natural compounds, and the structure and synthesis of vitamin B12. Todd received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1957 for his work on nucleotides and nucleic acids.