William Astbury FRS
(1898-1961)

Died aged c. 63

William Thomas Astbury FRS (also Bill Astbury; 25 February 1898, Longton – 4 June 1961, Leeds) was an English physicist and molecular biologist who made pioneering X-ray diffraction studies of biological molecules. His work on keratin provided the foundation for Linus Pauling's discovery of the alpha helix. He also studied the structure for DNA in 1937 and made the first step in the elucidation of its structure.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

William T. Astbury FRS lived here from 1928 to 1961. His brilliant research at the University of Leeds deduced the chemical composition of hair and wool fibres by X-ray diffraction. In 1938 his team was the first to predict a molecular structure for DNA, which contains the hereditary instuctions present in all living organisms. 1898-1961

kirkstall Lane, Headingley, Leeds, United Kingdom where he lived (1928-1961)