Tom L Blundell University of Cambridge

By | 5th May 2017

Tom L Blundell University of Cambridge

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Tom Blundell

Sir Thomas Leon “Tom” Blundell, FRS, FMedSci (born 7 July 1942) is a Britishbiochemist, structural biologist, and science administrator. He was a member of the team of Dorothy Hodgkin that solved in 1969 the first structure of a protein hormone, insulin. Blundell has made contributions to the structural biology of polypeptide hormones, growth factors, receptor activation, signal transduction, and DNA double-strand break repair, subjects important in cancer, tuberculosis, and familial diseases. He has developed software for protein modeling and understanding the effects of mutations on protein function, leading to new approaches to structure-guided and fragment-based drug discovery. In 1999 he co-founded the oncology company Astex Therapeutics, which has moved ten drugs into clinical trials. Blundell has played central roles in restructuring British research councils and, as President of the UK Science Council, in developing professionalism in the practice of science.


Born in Brighton in 1942, Blundell was educated at Steyning Grammar School. He was the first in his family to attend university, winning an Open Scholarship to Oxford. He earned a First Class degree in Natural Sciences in 1964, then moved to research in the Department of Chemical Crystallography, first with HM Powell FRS for his DPhil and later working on insulin with Dorothy Hodgkin.