Nobel Prize for Chemistry Awarded for Discovering the Structure of Vitamin B12
Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994) was only the third woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize (1964) for working out the molecular structure of vitamin B12. In 1948 she was given some red crystals of the vitamin by Dr. Lester Smith of the Glaxo drug company and asked if she could characterize it. She did, using X-ray crystallography and it took her 13 years to figure out the complex structure, which she finally completed in 1961. This allowed the compound to be synthesized to be used in the treatment of Pernicious Anemia.