Dudley Williams

Departmental announcement:

It is with great personal regret that [we] have to tell you that Professor Dudley Williams FRS died early today in Arthur Rank House after a short illness.

In the early 1960s, as a postdoc with Carl Djerassi at Stanford, Dudley was a pioneer in applying NMR and mass spectrometry in organic chemistry.  He joined the academic staff in Cambridge in 1964 and stayed here for the rest of his career, retiring in 2004.

During his 40 years here, Dudley developed techniques for understanding molecular structures and interactions in chemistry and biology; he elucidated the metabolism of Vitamin D, leading to life-saving therapies for individuals with kidney failure; he determined the structures and mode of action of Vancomycin and related antibiotics, making a huge contribution to fighting drug-resistant bacteria; and he contributed to our understanding of how molecules recognise each other.  His legacy lives on not only through this research but also through the students and postdocs who worked with him and through their students and postdocs.

Details of the funeral and of a memorial event celebrating Dudley’s love of people, science and music will be announced later.

Dudley was not only a colleague in the Department but a fellow of Churchill. He was a great person to have known.

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