Frank Dickens

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A British biochemist known for his contribution referred to as Dickens shunt


Frank Dickens is a British biochemist and obtained a PhD in organic chemistry in Imperial College, London.1 His major contribution in the field of biochemistry is on the pentose phosphate pathway generating NADPH. This is also referred to as Dickens shunt. Accordingly, it is a metabolic pathway generating NADPH and pentoses, i.e. 5-carbon sugars. Another contribution he made was his research on insulin to make it available for patients. He was also able to isolate stilboestrol, a female sex hormone.2, 3 Most of these notable works of Dickens were done together with Edward Charles Dodds who is also a British biochemist. Apart from Dodds, Dickens also worked with Otto Warburg who is regarded as one of the twentieth century's leading biochemists.4 Dickens was the one who translated Warburg's Über den Stoffwechsel der Tumoren to English.

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1 Peter N. Campbell: Dickens, Frank (1899–1986), rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
2 Dodds EC, Goldberg L, Lawson W, Robinson R (1938). "Estrogenic activity of certain synthetic compounds". Nature 141 (3562): 247–8.
3 British Medical Bulletin 1953: Vol 9 No 2 pp105-109: Alternative Routes of Carbohydrate Chemistry Frank Dickens.
4 Krebs, H. A. (1972). "Otto Heinrich Warburg 1883-1970". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 18: 628.