Alwyn Jones is the pioneering developer of the widely used computer graphics software, ‘FRODO’ and ‘O’. The structures of the majority of large biological molecules have been worked out using these programs. From Alwyn’s own research, these include over 100 biologically important proteins and viruses, such as the myelin P2 protein and the satellite tobacco necrosis virus.
Large biological molecules are often studied using X-ray crystallography techniques, which yield maps of electron density. Alwyn’s programs have allowed researchers to build models to fit these maps, and test their validity, at speeds impossible with non-computer-based methods. Alwyn is a keen advocate of the rigorous validation of molecular models and is co-author of a key publication in the scientific journal Nature discussing this and common errors.
Alwyn has won many accolades for his work. Amongst them is the 2003 Gregori Aminoff Prize of the Swedish Academy of Sciences (of which he is also an elected Foreign Member), and the American Crystallographic Association’s Lindo Patterson Award in 2005.