Professor Christopher M Dobson

Master of St John’s College | Photo credit: Ben Lister

Professor Chris Dobson received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1976, having worked on the application of chemical and physical techniques to probe the structures and dynamics of biological molecules, particularly proteins.

After a short period as a Research Fellow he moved to Harvard University as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry, and was also a Visiting Scientist at MIT.

In 1980 he returned to the University of Oxford first as a Lecturer in Chemistry and later as Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences.

In 2001 he moved to the University of Cambridge as John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Chemical and Structural Biology. In 2007 he was awarded the degree of ScD by the University and in the same year became Master of St John's College, Cambridge.

Chris Dobson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1996 and of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2005. In 2007 he was elected to Honorary Foreign Membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received many awards during his career including the Stein and Moore (2003) and the Hans Neurath (2006) Awards of the Protein Society, and the Davy Medal of the Royal Society (2005). He has also been awarded four Honorary Degrees in Science and Medicine. In 2009 he was awarded the Royal Medal by the Royal Society "for his outstanding contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms of protein folding and mis-folding, and the implications for disease."

His research interests are increasingly focused on defining the way that protein molecules fold up into the compact structures in which they function. More recently his work has been directed towards an understanding of the failure of proteins to fold correctly under some circumstances, and its consequences as the origin of human disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.

He published over 500 papers and review articles in total, including more than 30 in Nature and Science. 150 of these publications are within the last five years. Current h-index (based on citations) is 99.