British biochemist whose research on the structure and synthesis of
nucleotides, nucleosides, and nucleotide coenzymes gained him the 1957
Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
While at Manchester he began work on nucleosides, compounds that form the structural units of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). In 1949 he synthesized a related substance, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is vital to energy utilization in living organisms. He synthesized two other important compounds, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) in 1949 and uridine triphosphate in 1954. In 1955 he elucidated the structure of vitamin B12.
Todd also worked on the structure and synthesis of vitamin B1, vitamin
E, and alkaloid substances found in marijuana and hashish. He studied
other alkaloids as well, plant and insect pigments, and mold products,
including penicillin. He served as chairman (1952-64) of the British
government's advisory committee on scientific policy, and in 1975 he
was elected president of the Royal Society. Knighted in 1954, he was
created a life peer in 1962 and made a member of the Royal Order of
Merit in 1977.
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