Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society | VOL. 73
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Andrew James Thomson. 31 July 1940—2 March 2021

Publication Date Sep 7, 2022

Abstract

Andrew Thomson developed and exploited optical and magnetic resonance spectroscopy to address unresolved questions in biological inorganic chemistry, in a career that spanned more than 50 years. Despite his important role in the discovery of cisplatin as a young scientist, he went on to pursue a different direction. Leading original and creative investigations into the nature of metal-containing sites in proteins, he exploited the way that these centres, responsible for the activities of their host proteins, absorbed light and interacted with magnetic fields in very characteristic ways. He was devoted to ensuring the success of science at the newly-founded University of East Anglia (UEA), where he began his pioneering work on magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy in 1967. Throughout the following decades he painstakingly supervised many young scientists and collaborated enthusiastically with established figures across the world—unravelling numerous complex properties underpinning the catalytic and sensory activity of transition metals in biology, including their reactions with oxygen, iron, sulfur and the oxides of nitrogen. Realizing the importance of broadening the appeal of chemistry in society, he established pharmacy at UEA, went on to become the first dean of the Science Faculty and helped to plan the Norwich Research Park. His selfless effort in these endeavours was recognized by the award of an OBE for services to higher education in 2008.

Concepts

University Of East Anglia Chemistry In Society Biological Inorganic Chemistry Magnetic Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy Young Scientist Characteristic Ways Oxides Of Nitrogen Host Proteins Magnetic Spectroscopy Magnetic Fields

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