David Trentham FRS
David Trentham led the Division of Physical Biochemistry at NIMR from 1983 to 2003. He developed a truly interdisciplinary Division that encompassed chemistry, physiology, physics, biochemistry and molecular biology.
David’s early research was on nucleotide chemistry at Cambridge. He then applied chemistry to biological problems during postdoctoral research at the Salk Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1966 he moved to the University of Bristol where he mastered techniques of rapid reaction kinetics and also began his interest in myosin and muscle. In 1977 he became Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania where he worked with physiologists, chemists and physicists to develop the use of “caged compounds” for the study of molecular events during muscle fibre contraction. In 1983 he became Head of the new Division of Physical Biochemistry at NIMR. He maintained several long-term collaborations in which physical methods were applied to a variety of biological preparations, including bacterial chemotaxis and neural signalling. Trentham received the Colworth Medal of the Biochemical Society and the Feldberg Prize. Since retirement he has continued as an active scientist at NIMR and King’s College London.