skip to content


The Department's buildings are currently open for wet laboratory work only. We have carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and have introduced a number of new measures to ensure the safety of our staff, including reduced building occupancy, strict social distancing, 'family'-based working, and increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. All staff who can work remotely will do so for the foreseeable future. Please continue to contact us by email until further notice.

Department of Biochemistry

Holmes and Synge demonstrating for the 1937-1938 Part I Class

From 1938 to 1941 Richard Synge worked in the Department as an International Wool Secretariat research student. After moving to Leeds he shared with Archer John Porter Martin, also a former member of the Department, the 1952 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the invention of partition chromatography.

During the Second World War Malcolm Dixon became Head of Extramural Research, working primarily on poison gases and antidotes. This continued into his post-war study of enzyme inhibition. In 1943 Peter Mitchell joined Dixon's team. For his subsequent formulation of the chemiosmotic theory Mitchell won the 1978 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


B. Holmes (middle left) and R. Synge (middle right) demonstrating for the 1937-1938 Part I Class.