Needham, Dorothy M. (Dorothy Mary), 1896-1987

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Dorothy Mary Moyle was born in London on 22 September 1896. She was educated at Claremont College, Stockport, St Hilary's School, Alderley Edge and Girton College, Cambridge. She passed Part II of the Natural Sciences Tripos, specialising in chemistry, in 1919 and began research with F.G. Hopkins at the Sir William Dunn Institute of Biochemistry, Cambridge. In 1924 Dorothy Moyle married Joseph Needham, a fellow worker in Hopkins's laboratory. She continued research, undertaking important work on carbohydrate metabolism in muscle. From 1930 to 1940 she was involved in pioneering work on the part played by ATP (adenosinetriphosphate) in the contraction of muscle. In 1940 Dorothy Needham joined the chemical defence research group led by Malcolm Dixon and this was followed by a period in China where Joseph Needham was Scientific Counsellor at the British Embassy in Chungking. After the war she returned to Cambridge to research on enzyme biochemistry, retiring from active research in 1963 to work on her book 'Machina Carnis: the biochemistry of muscular contraction in its historical development', published in 1971. In recognition of her work in Cambridge she was elected to the Fellowship of three Cambridge colleges: Girton, Lucy Cavendish and Gonville and Caius, where she was the first woman to be admitted to the Fellowship. She died in 1987.

From the guide to the Personal Papers of Dorothy Mary Moyle Needham, 1871-1995, (Girton College Library, University of Cambridge)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Personal Papers of Dorothy Mary Moyle Needham, 1871-1995 Girton College Library, University of Cambridge
creatorOf Personal Papers of Dorothy Mary Moyle Needham, 1871-1995 Girton College Library, University of Cambridge
referencedIn Joseph Needham: Papers and Correspondence, 1871-1995 Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives
referencedIn Harrison, Ross G. (Ross Granville), 1870-1959. Ross Granville Harrison papers, 1820-1975 (inclusive), 1889-1959 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn William Mansfield Clark Papers, 1903-1964 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Harrison, Ross G. (Ross Granville), 1870-1959. Ross Granville Harrison papers, 1820-1975 (inclusive), 1889-1959 (bulk). Yale University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
Cambridge England
China
Subject
Scientific development
Women's education
Research
Biography
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Birth 1896-09-22

Death 1987-12-22

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English

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