Cambridge University: Timeline of key events

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Allbutt was an English physician who is renowned for inventing the short clinical thermometer. He introduced the instrument in 1866. It was a marked improvement on the previous foot-long thermometer which took 20 minutes to register a patient's temperature. In 1871 he introduced the use of the ophthalmoscope to inspect the interior of the eye. A few years later, in 1894, Allbutt determined that the painful heart condition angina pectoris stems from the aorta. 1836-07-20T00:00:00+0000Hopkins was a biochemist who shared the 1929 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering vitamins and demonstrating they are an important nutrient in the diet. This was based on experiments he carried out on rats in 1901. He also helped establish the chemistry of muscle contraction, showing that lactic acid accumulates in working muscle in 1907. In 1922 he isolated and demonstrated the importance of tripeptide gluathione to the utilisation of oxygen by the cell. 1861-06-20T00:00:00+0000Lehmann was a biochemist who was renowned for his studies on the distribution of abnormal haemoglobins in many different human populations. This grew out of his interest in anaemia, begun when he served as assistant director of pathology to the North East India Command between 1942 and 1947. He helped to discover that a high incidence in the sickle-cell trait in several aboriginal southern Indian populations. Based on his work he hypothesised that the gene for the trait could have been brought to Africa from India during prehistoric migrations.1910-07-08T00:00:00+0000Hodgkin was a physiologist and biophysicist who helped discover with Andrew F Huxley the chemical processes responsible for the transmission of electrical impulses from one nerve cell in the brain through to other nerve fibers. This they did based on experiments involving the introduction of microelectrodes into the giant nerve fibre of the squid. Hodgkin received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1963 for this work. 1914-02-05T00:00:00+0000Huxley was a physiologist and biophysicist who helped uncover the mechanism of muscle contraction in 1954 through experiments on the giant axon of the Atlantic Squid. His study of muscle fibres was helped by his development of interference microscopy. Huxley shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1963 for 'discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane'. 1917-11-22T00:00:00+0000Krebs was a biochemist who in 1933 was forced to leave Nazi Germany because his father was Jewish. He is best known for having discovered two important chemical reactions in the body - the urea cycle and the citric acid cycle. These chemical reactions help break down food molecules into carbon dioxide, water and energy. He made the breakthrough in the 1930s. The process is known as the Krebs cycle. Krebs was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954.1918-06-06T00:00:00+0000The concept, known as ectogenesis, was first put forward by JBS Haldane, a geneticist and biochemist, to the Heretics Society at the University of Cambridge.1923-01-01T00:00:00+0000Allbutt was an English physician who is renowned for inventing the short clinical thermometer. He introduced the instrument in 1866. It was a marked improvement on the previous foot-long thermometer which took 20 minutes to register a patient's temperature. In 1871 he introduced the use of the ophthalmoscope to inspect the interior of the eye. A few years later, in 1894, Allbutt determined that the painful heart condition angina pectoris stems from the aorta.1925-02-22T00:00:00+0000McLaren was a major pioneer in the development of IVF. She was also the key architect behind the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Act (1990) which provided the world’s first legal guidelines for infertility treatment and all human embryo research. Following this Act, McLaren served for 10 years on the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority, established in 1991, and became a critical player in debates about the governance of embryonic stem cells for therapy. She also made history in 1991 by becoming the Royal Society’s first woman officer. 1927-04-26T00:00:00+0000Hopkins, an English biochemist. was awarded the Prize for his discovery of growth-stimulating vitamins and Eijkman, a Dutch physician and pathologist, for his discovery of the antinuetritic vitamin. Their work marked the beginning of research into vitamins. 1929-12-10T00:00:00+0000Studies a combination of chemistry, physics, maths and physiology and specialises in biochemistry in his final year.1936-01-01T00:00:00+0000Initially supervised by Bill Pirie, and then by Albert Neuberger, in the Department of Biochemistry. Thesis: 'On the metabolism of the amino acid lysine in the animal body'. 1940-01-01T00:00:00+0000C.H. Waddington, 'The Epigenotype', Endeavour, 1 (1942), 18-20.1942-01-01T00:00:00+0000Sanger undertakes the research as part of team working with Albert Chibnall in Department of Biochemistry. His work is initially supported by a Beit Memorial Fellowship from 1944 and then by Medical Research Council from 1951. 1944-01-01T00:00:00+0000Hopkins was a British biochemist who shared the 1929 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering vitamins and demonstrating they are an important nutrient in the diet. This was based on experiments he carried out on rats in 1901. He also helped establish the chemistry of muscle contraction, showing that lactic acid accumulates in working muscle in 1907. In 1922 he isolated and demonstrated the importance of tripeptide gluathione to the utilisation of oxygen by the cell. 1947-05-16T00:00:00+00001949-10-01T00:00:00+0000Nature published Crick and Watson's letter on Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for DNA in which they described a double helix structure.1953-04-02T00:00:00+0000One paper, published by Rosalind Franklin with her PhD student Ray Gosling, included an image produced with x-ray crystallogaphy, which showed DNA to have regularly repeating helical structure. Known as photograph 51, this image had been previously been shown by Maurice Wilkins, without Franklin's permission, to James Watson, who, together with Francis Crick, used it to develop their double-helix model of DNA which was also published in Nature. Calculations from the photograph provided crucial parameters for the size of the helix and its structure, all of which were critical for Watson and Crick's molecular modelling work. Crick and Watson depicted DNA as having a double helix in which A always pairs with T, and C always with G. Their final model represented a correction of an earlier model in the light of comments made by Franklin that the hydrophilic backbones should not go at the centre of the molecule, as Watson and Crick had originally assumed, but go on the outside of the molecule where they could interact with water. The three papers were published in Nature, 171 (25 April 1953), 737-41.1953-04-25T00:00:00+0000Sanger's insulin results establish for the first time that proteins are chemical entities with a defined sequence. The technique Sanger develops for sequencing insulin later becomes known as the degradation or DNP method. It provides the basis for his later development of sequencing tecdhniques for nucleic acids, including RNA and DNA.1955-01-01T00:00:00+0000Ingram shows that the difference between sickle-cell and normal haemoglobulin lies in just one amino acid. 1957-01-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
20 Jul 1836Thomas Clifford Allbutt was born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, UKAllbuttUniversity of CambridgeDiagnostics, Cardiovascular
20 Jun 1861Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born in Eastbourne, United KingdomHopkinsCambridge UniversityBiochemistry, Cell
8 Jul 1910Hermann Lehmann was born in Halle, Saxony, GermanyLehmannSt Bartholomew's Hospital, Cambridge UniversityBiochemistry, Haematology
5 Feb 1914Alan Lloyd Hodgkin was born in Banbury, United KingdomA HodgkinCambridge UniversityNeuroscience
22 Nov 1917Andrew F Huxley was born in Hampstead, United KingdomHuxleyCambridge University, University College LondonCell, Neuroscience
6 Jun 1918Hans Adolf Krebs was born in Hildesheim, GermanyKrebsUniversity of Freiburg, Cambridge University, Sheffield University, Oxford UniversityCell, Biochemistry
1923Idea that embryos could be developed in artificial conditions outside the uterusJBS HaldaneUniversity of CambridgeReproduction, IVF
22 Feb 1925Thomas Clifford Allbutt diedAllbuttUniversity of CambridgeDiagnostics, Cardiovascular
26 Apr 1927Anne McLaren was born in London, United KingdomMcLarenUniversity College London, Edinburgh University, Cambridge UniversityEmbryology, Reproduction, Stem cells
10 Dec 1929Frederick Hopkins shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Christiaan Eijkman for the discovery of vitaminsHopkins, EijkmanCambridge University, Javanese Medical SchoolNutrition
1936 - 1940Sanger takes degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge UniversitySangerCambridge UniversityDNA Sequencing
1940 - 1943Sanger studies for a doctorate at Cambridge UniversitySangerCambridge UniversityDNA Sequencing
1942'Epigenetics' coined as a term to describe how genes interact with the environment to produce the physical traits of an organism WaddngtonCambridge UniversityEpigenetics
1944Sanger starts working on amino acid composition of insulinSangerCambridge UniversityDNA Sequencing
16 May 1947Frederick Gowland Hopkins diedHopkinsCambridge UniversityBiochemistry, Cell
1949 - 1952Askonas completed doctorate on biochemistry of the muscle at Cambridge UniversityAskonasCambridge University 
2 Apr 1953Nature published Crick and Watson's letter on Molecular Structure of Nucleic AcidsWatson,CrickCambridgeDNA
25 Apr 1953Nature published three papers showing the molecular structure of DNA to be a double helixFranklin, Gosling, Crick, Watson, Wilkins. Stokes, WilsonBirkbeck College, Kings College London, Cambridge UniversityDNA
1955Sanger completes the full sequence of amino acids in insulinSangerCambridge UniversityDNA Sequencing
1957Victor Ingram breaks the genetic code behind sickle-cell anaemia using Sanger's sequencing techniqueIngram, SangerCambridge UniversityDNA Sequencing

20 Jul 1836

Thomas Clifford Allbutt was born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, UK

20 Jun 1861

Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born in Eastbourne, United Kingdom

8 Jul 1910

Hermann Lehmann was born in Halle, Saxony, Germany

5 Feb 1914

Alan Lloyd Hodgkin was born in Banbury, United Kingdom

22 Nov 1917

Andrew F Huxley was born in Hampstead, United Kingdom

6 Jun 1918

Hans Adolf Krebs was born in Hildesheim, Germany

1923

Idea that embryos could be developed in artificial conditions outside the uterus

22 Feb 1925

Thomas Clifford Allbutt died

26 Apr 1927

Anne McLaren was born in London, United Kingdom

10 Dec 1929

Frederick Hopkins shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Christiaan Eijkman for the discovery of vitamins

1936 - 1940

Sanger takes degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University

1940 - 1943

Sanger studies for a doctorate at Cambridge University

1942

'Epigenetics' coined as a term to describe how genes interact with the environment to produce the physical traits of an organism

1944

Sanger starts working on amino acid composition of insulin

16 May 1947

Frederick Gowland Hopkins died

1949 - 1952

Askonas completed doctorate on biochemistry of the muscle at Cambridge University

2 Apr 1953

Nature published Crick and Watson's letter on Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids

25 Apr 1953

Nature published three papers showing the molecular structure of DNA to be a double helix

1955

Sanger completes the full sequence of amino acids in insulin

1957

Victor Ingram breaks the genetic code behind sickle-cell anaemia using Sanger's sequencing technique