Obituary: Dame Louise Napier Johnson, 1940-2012

Louipicture Dame Louise Johnsonse Johnson was born in 1940 at Worcester. She studied physics at University College London between 1959 and 1962, moving to the Royal Institution to work with David Phillips, completing her Ph.D. in 1966. For the first time, we began to understand how an enzyme – lysozole – works; in this case, we had strong clues as to how it selectively cleaved the polysaccharide chain. In Oxford from 1967, her work led to an explanation of the allosteric mechanism of the regulatory enzyme glycogen phosphorylase and provided the basis for a general model describing how protein kinases are regulated.

Louise had a passionate interest in international science, and remained always generous with her time, a huge influence on the emergence of structural biology in the UK and elsewhere, and gave wonderful support to the many new labs established by her students and research colleagues throughout the world.
(Tom L. Blundell, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB1 2GA, UK Correspondence:
The above is taken from an Obituary written by Tom Blundell, and IUPAB is grateful to Tom Blundell and ‘Structure’ ( for permission to reproduce this. The full text is available at Obituary Johnson