Carol V. Robinson

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Carol Robinson
Born Carol Vivien Bradley
Nationality UK
Fields Chemist
Institutions University of Oxford
University of Cambridge
Known for Mass spectrometry

Dame Carol V. Robinson, DBE, FRS (née Bradley) is a distinguished British chemist. She is a Royal Society Research Professor at the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Oxford, as well as the Dr. Lee's Professor of Chemistry-elect. She was previously Professor of Mass Spectrometry at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Cambridge.


Carol Vivien Bradley left school at 16 and began her career as a lab technician with Pfizer, where she began working with the then novel technique of mass spectrometry. Her potential was spotted, and she gained further qualifications at evening classes and day release from her job at Pfizer. After earning her degree, she left Pfizer and studied for an MSc at the University of Swansea, followed by a PhD at the University of Cambridge, which she completed in two years. After a training fellowship at the University of Bristol, she took eight years out to raise a family. She returned to science by taking up a junior position in the mass spectrometry unit at the University of Oxford, where she began analysing protein folding.[1] She became the first female Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford in 1999. In 2001, she returned to Cambridge to take up a professorship in the Department of Chemistry, becoming this department's first female Professor. She took up her current position in Oxford in 2009.[2]


She was awarded the American Society for Mass Spectrometry's Biemann Medal in 2003, and the Christian B. Anfinsen Award in 2008. In 2004 the Royal Society awarded her both a Fellowship and the Rosalind Franklin Award.[3][4] In 2010 she received the Davy Medal "for her ground-breaking and novel use of mass spectrometry for the characterisation of large protein complexes".[5][6]

In 2011 she was given the Interdisciplinary Prize by the Royal Society of Chemistry for "development of a new area of research, gas-phase structural biology, using highly refined mass spectrometry techniques." [7] She has been awarded Honorary doctorates from the universities of Kent, York, and Bristol.[8]

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to science and industry.[9]