... understanding life in molecular detail

History

The Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology (ACSMB) was formally constituted as a University Interdisciplinary Research Centre in 1999. The Centre builds on the visions and achievements of the pioneers of modern biophysics and is named after W.T. (Bill) Astbury, a biophysicist who laid many of the foundations of the field during a long research career at the University of Leeds (1928-1961). Astbury originally identified the two major recurring patterns of protein structure (alpha and beta, took the first X-ray fibre diffraction pictures of DNA (in 1938) and is widely credited with the definition of the field of molecular biology. Astbury's work, in turn, followed from the pioneering work of Sir William Bragg who was the Cavendish Professor of Physics in Leeds from 1908-1915.

William Astbury & The Astbury Centre

Past & Present

Links to a series of articles about Astbury and The Astbury Center

1Oriniginally published in 'They Lived in Headingley' in North Leeds Life and reproduced here with permission.

2Reprinted from Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 42 (2), Kersten Hall, William Astbury and the biological significance of nucleic acids, 1938-1951, 119-128, (2011), with permission from Elsevier

3Originally published in The University of Leeds Alumni magazine and reproduced here with permission.

Sound Archives & Lectures

1 From a recording made by Prof Laszlo Lorand (Northwestern University, Chicago) and reproduced here with his permission.

2 Reproduced here with permission from Chemistry World.

3The History and Philosophy of Science in 20 objects can be found at https://arts.leeds.ac.uk/museum-of-hstm/20objects/

Under construction - links not all yet working


Astbury Chairs of Biophysics

W.T. Astbury,
FRS

Professor of Biomolecular Structure and Head of the Biomolecular Structure Unit, 1945-1961

R.D. Preston,
FRS

Professor of Plant Biophysics, 1953-1973
First Head of the Astbury Department of Biophysics, 1962-1973

A.C.T. North
 

Professor of Molecular Biophysics, Astbury Department of Biophysics, 1972-1973
Head of the Astbury Department of Biophysics, 1973-1990
Astbury Professor of Biophysics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990-1996

S.E.V. Phillips,
FRSC

Professor of Molecular Biophysics, Astbury Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1992-1996
Astbury Professor of Biophysics, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology 1996-

S.E. Radford,
FMedSci, FRS

Astbury Professor of Biophysics
Director of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology 2012-present
Astbury Chair of Biophysics 2013-