A role model for our university, aspiring scientists, health professionals and people underrepresented in STEM Our university was dedicated in 2004 to Rosalind Franklin, PhD, the brilliant and innovative scientist whose photo 51 revealed the double helix of DNA, a discovery that was essential to uncovering the mystery of how life is transmitted from generation to generation. Franklin's passion for learning, her quest for extreme clarity, and her unwavering commitment to the highest standards of scientific research brought “lasting benefits” to humanity and make her an ideal role model for our students, teachers, aspiring scientists and for health professionals around the world. Physical chemist, researcher and leading expert in crystallography, Dr. Franklin's renown came from the two years he spent researching at King's College London in the early 1950s, when scientists around the world rushed to discover the structure of DNA.
Working in a poorly collegial laboratory environment with women scientists and often in isolation, Dr. Franklin fought patiently to test the structure through mathematical calculations and to capture the B-form of DNA through more than 100 hours of photographic exposure. While his Photo 51 and related data were integral to the 1953 discovery and description of the double helix structure of DNA, his contribution went virtually unnoticed for nearly 50 years. Franklin, who, despite gender disparity and discrimination, tirelessly sought answers to questions that have improved health and longevity around the world, speaks to the new generations that are taking up the fight for equality and the improvement of well-being.
Their perseverance and determination in the face of deep-seated injustice offer hope to underrepresented groups in academia, STEM, and countries and economies that continue to struggle for parity in compensation, progress, and recognition. Franklin's life, science, and pursuit of excellence will continue to impact human health for generations to come. The university that bears her name, the first medical institution in the country to recognize a woman scientist in this way, honors the ideals that can lead each generation to the advancement of science and “to the improvement of the fate of humanity, present and future”. Dr.
Franklin graduated in 1941, and the following year, as more women entered academia and industry, she accepted a position with the British Coal Utilization Research Association, where she designed and carried out experiments to understand the microstructures of carbon and carbon, work that ultimately benefited the Allied cause. The war in Europe is coming to an end, Dr. Franklin spent the next four years doing postgraduate research at the Laboratoire Central des Services Chimiques de l'Etat in Paris. There, he enjoyed the freedom to pursue his interests.
She learned and became an expert in the technique of crystallography, also called X-ray diffraction, a method that determines the arrangement of atoms in solids and crystals. His experience in revealing the structures of different carbons laid the foundation for new industrial uses of carbon and helped the development of heat-resistant materials. By the age of 30, he was already an international authority on carbon, with numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals to his credit. In 1950, he received a three-year Turner and Newall research grant at King's College London to study changes in protein solutions.
Franklin embraced the shift from physical chemistry to biological chemistry, but before he could begin his research, the task changed abruptly. After purchasing a specially prepared nucleic gel, King's College instructed Dr. Franklin will apply his experience in X-ray diffraction to innovative research on the structure of DNA. Their innovative use of technology would soon prove key to discerning the helical structure of the DNA molecule.
He spent the first eight months at King's working closely with PhD student Raymond Gosling to design and assemble a tiltable microcamera and to understand and refine the conditions needed to obtain an accurate diffraction image of DNA. In May 1952, with the help of Dr. Gosling and the Special Camera, Dr. Franklin suspended a tiny fiber of DNA, about the thickness of a lock of hair, and bombarded it with an X-ray beam for 100 hours of exposure under carefully controlled relative humidity.
Diffracted by electrons from atoms in the fiber, the rays produced a pattern on a photographic plate. Franklin performed mathematical calculations to analyze the pattern in an attempt to reveal its structure. Throughout her work at King's, Dr. Franklin struggled to cope with an uncollegial and sometimes hostile environment, in which he might have suspected that anti-Semitism and sexism were at play and in which, according to at least one scientist interviewed by biographer Brenda Maddox, his work was undervalued.
Franklin was drawn to the King's laboratory by what turned out to be misleading communications from Professor J, T. Randall, head of the male-dominated biophysics unit. When he assigned her to take over the X-ray diffraction work at Kings, she forgot to share that decision with biophysicist Maurice Wilkins. Wilkins, who had been immersed in a microscopic examination of DNA fibers but had begun to use X-ray diffraction to study the samples, urged Dr.
Franklin is built on the excellence of her postdoctoral research. I was hoping to help her supervise her and interpret her photographs. Franklin was led to believe by Dr. Randall, that working with DNA was his only territory.
The Wilkins were further fueled by lack of communication and by very different temperaments and, eventually, by Dr. Crick, from the competing Cavendish laboratory, who was struggling to decipher DNA through modeling. In early 1953, Raymond Gosling showed photo 51 to Dr. Wilkins, who in turn showed it to Dr.
Watson, who immediately understood that the helical structure was essential for DNA replication. Watson would later write in his book “The Double Helix “: The instant I saw the image, my mouth opened and my pulse began to race. Franklin's work with DNA was driven by a new energy and a new emphasis on biology that spread through science after World War II. The discovery in 1951 of the alpha helix, a primary structure of proteins, by the American scientist Linus Pauling also boosted the race to define the structure of DNA.
Teams from the United States and the United Kingdom competed, taking advantage of each other's advances. They built models and employed Dr. Franklin's specialty, X-ray crystallography, in an attempt to understand the structure of DNA. Little did they know that structure itself would provide the key to understanding how genetic information is transferred from one generation to another.
Franklin patiently refined the conditions necessary to obtain an accurate diffraction image of DNA. By controlling the water content of the fiber, he discovered that DNA exists in two forms: A and B. Photo 51 captured the B form of DNA with the help of a microcamera designed, assembled and modified by Dr. Inside the chamber, he suspended a tiny DNA fiber about the thickness of a lock of hair and bombarded it with an X-ray beam for 100 hours of exposure under carefully controlled relative humidity.
Analyzed using mathematical computation, the pattern proved to be fundamental to understanding the plan of life. Franklin left King's College in early 1953, at the invitation of his friend and mentor, J, D. Bernal, who was director of the Biomolecular Research Laboratory at Birkbeck College. Another school at the University of London, Birkbeck, was known for its egalitarian environment.
Bernal, the world's leading crystallographer, as a postdoctoral student in Paris. A week before the groundbreaking Photo 51 was published in Nature, Dr. Franklin, a letter addressed to his laboratory in Birkbeck, instructing him to stop working on DNA and thinking about it. Franklin was already focusing his attention on more pioneering research: the study of plant viruses.
He would then lead his team in decoding the structure of the tobacco mosaic virus. By the mid-1950s, she was already at the top of her field, occupying a pre-eminent place in X-ray diffraction, and was in high demand as a speaker at scientific conferences throughout Europe and the United States. She was often the only female presenter. Despite her growing reputation and the numerous articles published, Dr.
Franklin had to fight for status and pay. He struggled to obtain funding and equipment. At the end of her fellowship, she received a three-year contract for virus research from the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), which offered her, without any explanation, a reduction in her salary and denied her the rank of principal scientific researcher. Franklin defended his science and the people who depended on it.
He wrote to his ARC supervisor, telling him that the work of his group at Birkbeck concerned what was probably the most fundamental of all questions related to the mechanisms of living processes, namely, the relationship between protein and nucleic acid in the living cell. In addition, he continued, “in no other laboratory, neither in this country nor anywhere else, is any comparable work being done on the structure of the virus. Franklin prospered thanks to many fruitful and reliable collaborations with other scientists, particularly in carbon and virus research, including at Birkbeck with Aaron Klug, physicist, chemist, and crystallographer. He made two extended trips to the United States, where he visited laboratories and shared and collected information on new findings, and obtained funding that the National Institutes of Health denied him in England for his research on the virus.
Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in September 1956, Dr. Franklin continued to work and travel during periods of remission. He continued to push for funding for his research group in Birkbeck, which had been asked to build virus models for the Brussels World's Fair. He died on April 16, 1958, the day before the opening of the fair, where five-foot-tall models aroused great interest at the International Science Show.
Bernal, who had played a fundamental role and had supported her work, praised Dr. Franklin's “unwavering dedication” to scientific research. He wrote that his career “was characterized by extreme clarity and perfection in everything he undertook. Franklin, with “ingenious experimental and mathematical techniques of X-ray analysis” that brought her very close to unraveling on her own the mystery of how life is transmitted from one cell to another, from generation to generation.
Wilkins, received the 1962 Nobel Prize for the discovery and description of the structure of DNA, while Dr. Franklin's brilliant lighting and critical data analysis went virtually unnoticed and went unnoticed. Rosalind Franklin published consistently throughout her career, including 19 articles on carbon and carbons, five on DNA, and 21 on viruses. Shortly before her death, she and her team, including Dr.
Klug, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1982, embarked on research into the deadly polio virus. Franklin as “a role model for our students, researchers, teachers and all aspiring scientists around the world. He declared Photo 51 as the university's logo and declared “Life in Discovery” as its motto. Throughout the university's history, the Illinois Institute of Technology community has been fortunate to have the support of exceptional trustees, alumni, professors, and friends.
Their outstanding contributions and achievements are represented by their inclusion in the Illinois Institute of Technology Hall of Fame. In 1946, Boder traveled from Illinois Tech to Eastern Europe, taking with him a 50-pound tape recorder and 200 coils of carbon steel wire, in which he recorded 119 interviews with people. Heald was one of the key people responsible for the merger of Armour with the Lewis Institute to create the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1940. He served as a professor of mechanical engineering at several institutions, including Illinois Tech, where he was department director from 1940 to 1943 and director of the Institute of Gas Technology from 1943 to 45. The influential Prairie School landscape architect, Alfred Caldwell, was the first full-time professor in the Illinois Tech department of architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design.
Elmo Brady became the first African-American in the United States to obtain a doctorate in Chemistry at the University of Illinois, where he conducted research at the Noyes Laboratory. He was one of the scientists who testified on behalf of Oppenheimer at the 1954 hearing that resulted in Oppenheimer's security clearance being denied. Also during his term of office, a constitutional convention was held that produced the first comprehensive reform of the Illinois government in this century. He also spent decades teaching Illinois Tech students and earned a Fulbright scholarship to study with renowned Italian structural engineer and architect Pier Luigi Nervi.
Moran spent more than 50 years serving the people of Illinois as Lake County State Attorney, Circuit Judge, Chief Judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit, Second District Court of Appeals, and Illinois State Supreme Court. Caldwell's numerous contributions to Chicago include the Lincoln Park Zoo, the colony, Promontory Point, near Hyde Park, and the addition of groves to Illinois Tech's main campus. Later, the Chicago Law School merged with the Kent Law School to form the Chicago-Kent Law School; in 1969, Chicago-Kent became Illinois Tech's law school. Martin Kilpatrick, a nationally known chemist and academic, chaired the Department of Chemistry at Illinois Tech from 1947 to 1960, which led him to occupy a prominent place in undergraduate and graduate teaching and in faculty research.
He served as group vice president at the Illinois Institute for Technological Research, deputy director of NASA's Apollo Project program, and live scientific commentator for CBS radio and television. .