Hodgkin went on to study Chemistry at Oxford University. After she graduated in 1932, she took a position in an x-ray crystallography lab. X -ray crystallography determines the 3 dimensional structure of a molecule by passing a beam of x-rays through the crystalline form of the molecule and then observing the diffraction pattern that is produced. In spite of being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 24, Hodgkin went on to become one of the most skilled crystallographers of her time.
In 1946 Hodgkin discovered the structure of penicillin which helped manufacturers create semisynthetic penicillins. In 1964 she won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of the structure of vitamin B12. Then in 1969 she gave us the structure of insulin.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Hodgkin's other honors include:
- The Order of Merit
- Copley Medal
- Fellow of the Royal Society
- The Lenin Peace Prize
- Austrian Decoration for Science and Art
Hodgkin retired in 1977 and she passed away in 1994. She was an amazing woman who made a significant impact in the field of Science. Her discoveries have improved and saved the lives of millions.