Dwek was educated at Carmel College, then the University of Manchester, where he studied chemistry (1960–64). He then went to Lincoln College, Oxford, where he completed his DPhil in physical chemistry in 1966. He is a professorial fellow of Exeter College, Oxford and director of the Oxford Glycobiology Institute, which he founded in 1991. From 2000 to 2006 he was also head of the Department of Biochemistry. He is a member of the Board of Scientific Governors at The Scripps Research Institute. Dwek is president of the Institute of Biology, scientific advisor to the president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and the Institute of Biochemistry in Bucharest.
Academic and scientific career
Dwek was educated at the University of Manchester, where he read chemistry (1960–64). He completed his DPhil in physical chemistry at Oxford in 1966. Following this, he became a research lecturer at Christ Church, where he taught physical and inorganic chemistry. In 1969 he was invited to join the Biochemistry Department, working with other members of the Oxford Enzyme Group. In 1974 he was elected Royal Society Locke Research fellow, working on antibodies. This led to his appointment as university lecturer in biochemistry with a fellowship, by special election, at Exeter College in 1976. At the same time, he was also appointed a lecturer in biochemistry at Trinity College to help build up the subject there. In 1988, Dwek was made director of the Glycobiology Institute and became Professor of Glycobiology. Also in 1988, he was the founding scientist and non-executive director of Oxford GlycoSciences Plc (formerly Oxford GlycoSystems), which was established to commercialise technologies arising from research at the Glycobiology Institute. In 1995 the company was mentioned as part of the Queen's Anniversary Prize to the University of Oxford. In 1998 it was publicly quoted on the London Stock Exchange.
In 1998, Dwek became founding scientist and chairman of the Scientific Board and Director of Synergy, which was established in the US to develop antiviral agents for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis B and C infections. This work was taken over by United Therapeutics, USA, and Dwek became a director of this company. The company sponsors the antiviral laboratory at the Glycobiology Institute and the Annual Virology Lecture in the department.
Dwek is the author of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) in biochemistry – application to enzyme systems (OUP, 1973), Principles and Problems in Physical Chemistry for Biochemists, with N C Price (OUP, 1974) and Biology Spectroscopy with I D Campbell (Benjamin Cummings, 1984).
Awards and recognition
Dwek has received the degree of Doctoris Honoris Causa from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (1996), Ben Gurion University, Israel (2001), The Scripps Research Institute, USA. (2004) and Cluj University, Romania (2006). Other honours include the 7th Wellcome Trust Award for Research in Biochemistry Related to Medicine (1994), the First Scientific Leadership Award of the Hepatitis B Foundation (1997), The Romanian Order of Merit (2000) and the Huxley Medal of the Institute of Biology (2007). He held the Kluge Chair in Technology and Society at the Library of Congress, USA in 2007. He is an Honorary Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford (2004), and a director of ISIS Innovation – the University's Intellectual Property Company (2003–). He was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation in 1988, a Fellow of the Royal Society for Chemistry in 1993, a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1998, a Foreign member of The American Philosophical Society in 2006, and Hon Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2007. Dwek was the head of the Biochemistry Department from 2000 to 2007 and President of the Institute of Biology from 2008 to 2010. He is a founding member of the UK-Israel Science Council and served as its co-chair alongside Professor Rivka Carmi in the years 2010-2017.
Dwek was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to UK/Israel scientific collaboration and in 2018 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Ben-Gurion University.
- Dwek, Raymond A. (1973). Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (N.M.R.) in Biochemistry: Applications to Enzyme Systems. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-854614-9.
- Price, Nicholas C.; Raymond A. Dwek (1974). Principles and Problems in Physical Chemistry for Biochemists. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-854129-5.
- Campbell, Iain D.; Raymond A. Dwek (1984). Biological Spectroscopy. Menlo Park, Calif.: Benjamin/Cummings. ISBN 0-8053-1847-X.