International Women in Science Conference
Daniela Rhodes is structural biologist and senior scientist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, UK. Born in Italy, she emigrated at the age of 11 with her parents to Sweden where she graduated with a Diploma in Engineering in 1969. She moved to Cambridge, where she obtained a position as research assistant at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Only after the birth of her son James in 1976 did she decide to register for a Ph.D., which she obtained in 1982 from Cambridge University with Aaron Klug, LMB, as a supervisor.
She was invited to give the Women in Science Lecture at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Brookhaven, USA, in 1989. She is and official fellow of Chare Hall, Cambridge, was elected EMBO member in 1996 and chaired the EMBO Long-term Fellowship Committee between 2000 and 2006.
Daniela Rhodes has made many fundamental contributions to understanding the structure and function of nucleic acids and their biologically important interactions with many different proteins. Her work combines biochemical analyses with direct structural determination. She determined the structures of a number of important protein-DNA complexes involved in transcription, such as zinc-fingers and nuclear hormone receptors. She has provided some of the first structural information on telomeric proteins, such as yeast Rap1p and human TRF1 and TRF2 and their complexes with DNA. Throughout her career she has made many contributions to the understanding of chromatin structure and function. She was involved in determining the structure of the nucleosome core, has worked on transcriptionally active chromatin and more recently on the higher order 30nm structure of chromatin.