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Sir Alan Battersby (1925-), Chemist
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Professor of Organic Chemistry and Fellow Emeritus of St Catherine's College, Cambridge, Battersby is an international authority on the chemistry of living systems. Five years after he retired in 1992, he won the prestigious Robert Alonzo Welch award, given in the United States for research in chemistry that benefits mankind, in recognition of his pioneering work in elucidating the detailed biosynthetic pathways to all the major families of plant alkaloids. His approach, which combines isolation work, structure determination, synthesis, isotopic labelling and spectroscopy, as well as genetics and molecular biology, revealed the entire pathway to vitamin B12.