The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has awarded the 2014 Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics (USD 200,000) to Christopher Dobson, John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Chemical and Structural Biology, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom).
Professor Dobson is receiving the prize for uncovering the manner in which proteins in the human body sometimes misfold themselves and how that process may lead to age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes.
Christopher M. Dobson was born in the United Kingdom on 8 October 1949. He studied at the University of Oxford and in 1976 received his PhD there. One year later he left Oxford for the USA to do research at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. In 1980 Dobson returned to Oxford, where he became Professor of Chemistry in 1996. Two years later he was appointed Director of the Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences. In 2001, Dobson once again left Oxford for Cambridge, only this time it was Cambridge in the UK. He has served as the John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Chemical and Structural Biology at the University of Cambridge ever since.
Dobson has authored or co-authored over 650 published research and review papers, more than 30 of which were published in the prestigious journals Science and Nature. In addition to his duties as a highly productive and influential researcher, Dobson has served as Master of Cambridge’s age-old St John’s College since 2007.
Dobson has received numerous awards and decorations. In 2009 he received the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in London. He is a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has earned honorary doctorates from five universities in Belgium, Sweden, Italy and the United Kingdom.