Gowland Hopkins Award
The Society’s Gowland Hopkins Award is named after Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins OM FRS PRS, who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1929 for the discovery of vitamins and was a Founder of the Society.
The award will be awarded to senior scientists within the area of Cellular and Molecular Nutrition.
This Award will be awarded in 2019. Further details including application criteria and how to apply will be available soon. If you would like to be first to be informed when further information is available, please contact us.
Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins OM, PRS (1861 – 1947) was an English biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1929, with Christiaan Eijkman, for the discovery of vitamins. He also discovered the amino acid tryptophan, in 1901, was the President of the Royal Society from 1930 to 1935 and was one of the Founders of The Nutrition Society.
In 1898, while attending a meeting of the Physiological Society, he was invited by Sir Michael Foster to join the Physiological Laboratory in Cambridge to investigate the chemical aspects of physiology. He earned a doctorate in physiology (D.Sc) from the University of London in July 1902, and at the same time was given a readership in biochemistry at Trinity College. In 1910 he became a Fellow of Trinity College, and an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College. In 1914 he was elected to the Chair of Biochemistry at Cambridge University, thus becoming the first Professor in that discipline at Cambridge.
Gowland Hopkins had for a long time studied how cells obtain energy via and reduction reactions. His study in 1907 with Sir Walter Morley Fletcher of the connection between lactic acid and muscle contraction was one of the central achievements of his work on the biochemistry of the cell. He and Fletcher showed that oxygen depletion causes an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle. Their work paved the way for the later discovery by Archibald Hill and Otto Fritz Meyerhof that a carbohydrate metabolic cycle supplies the energy used for muscle contraction.
In 1912 Hopkins published the work for which he is best known, demonstrating in a series of animal feeding experiments that diets consisting of pure proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and water fail to support animal growth. This led him to suggest the existence in normal diets of tiny quantities of as yet unidentified substances that are essential for animal growth and survival. These hypothetical substances he called "accessory food factors", later renamed vitamins. It was this work that led his being awarded (together with Christiaan Eijkman) the 1929 Nobel Prize in Physiology for Medicine.
During World War I, Hopkins continued his work on the nutritional value of vitamins. His efforts were especially valuable in a time of food shortages and rationing.
During his life, in addition to the Nobel Prize, Gowland Hopkins was awarded the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 1918 and the Copley Medal in 1926. Other significant honours were his election in 1905 to fellowship of the Royal Society, a knighthood by King George V in 1925; and the award in 1935 of the Order of Merit. From 1930 -1935 he served as President of the Royal Society, and in 1933 was President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.