WARM tributes have been paid to a former University of York scientist whose work on the drug insulin has helped the treatment of diabetes sufferers throughout the world.
Guy Dodson, died aged 75 at York Hospital on Christmas Eve. A remembrance service, held on Wednesday at Archbishop Holgate’s School, saw family and former research colleagues gather to pay their last respects.
Following the service, university vice-chancellor Professor Brian Cantor said he felt great sadness at the death of Mr Dodson, who he described as “an enormously influential figure both here at York and in the wider scientific community”.
He said: “Guy was an international leader in protein x-ray crystallography and his commitment to scientific research never wavered.
“Guy’s contributions to the university and the department are immense. His friends and colleagues at York will miss him greatly. Our thoughts are with his widow, Eleanor, and the family at this distressing time.”
Mr Dodson joined the University of York’s department of chemistry in 1976 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1994.
He and his wife had both worked with the late Dorothy Hodgkin at Oxford on research into the structure of insulin.
In the early 1980s his work saw him forge links with the then University of Peking, sharing data on his work with insulin.
Professor Richard Taylor, head of the department of chemistry, said: “With his wife, Professor Eleanor Dodson, Guy established the York structural biology laboratory (YSBL) in the department of chemistry in the mid-1970s.
“YSBL specialises in the development of methods to determine, analyse and exploit the structure of proteins, with applications in drug discovery and the exploitation of enzymes as biocatalysts. It is a research success story that continues to this day.
“To take just one of their many contributions, the YSBL research on the structure of insulin has been instrumental in the design of a number of improved insulin formulations that have benefitted many thousands of diabetes sufferers worldwide. However, it is Guy’s stimulating enthusiasm, friendship and humanity that will be most missed.”