Skip to content


Fellows Directory

Andrew Thomson

Andrew Thomson

Professor Andrew Thomson OBE FRS


Elected: 1993


Andrew Thomson was a chemist who has pioneered the use of optical and magnetic methods to analyse the structures of biologically important compounds. By studying the behaviour of metal ions found in proteins, he improved our understanding of a wide range of natural processes, including the uptake and storage of iron within the body.

Much of Andrew's work focused on magnetic circular dichroism (MCD), a technique that compares how molecules absorb light polarised in different directions under the influence of a magnetic field. Such measurements allow the detection of molecular transitions that would otherwise be too weak to be seen, and have shed light on the symmetries of the underlying system. Andrew's contributions turned MCD spectroscopy into a valuable analytical tool with widespread biological applications.

From 1988 to 2008, Andrew served as joint director of the UK Centre for Metallobiology, winning the Royal Society of Chemistry's Interdisciplinary Award in 2002. A fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine since 2007, he was awarded an OBE for services to higher education the following year.

Professor Andrew Thomson OBE FRS died on 2 March 2021.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, inorganic, Chemistry, biological
  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biophysics and structural biology
Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.