King's College London
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The pioneering work of Professor Jean Hanson, 1919-1973

The Muscle Biophysics Unit

three people conversing with Maurice Wilkins on left, and unknown man behind and Jean Hanson on rightWilkins and Hanson 1970Hanson during this period also carried out important research on the motile mechanism of bacterial flagella that from 1964 took place in the new home of the Biophysics Unit in Drury Lane.

Increasingly, however, and especially following her election as Professor of Biology in the University of London in 1966, she became involved in the teaching and administration of the Unit.

This led to her appointment as the director of the Muscle Biophysics Unit following the retirement of John Randall in 1970.

Her contribution to biological research was also recognised at this time by the Royal Society when in 1967 she became only the second woman from King's to be elected a Fellow.

Hanson was a popular speaker at conferences and built up an international reputation for the fledgling Muscle Biophysics Unit by attracting some of the leading scientists in the field from the US, Japan, Canada and the USSR.

This new, exciting, stage in her career was to be cut short in tragic circumstances, however, as in August 1973 she died soon after contracting meningitis.

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