|Administrative history||Lady Rita Cornforth (nee Harradence) was born in Australia in 1915. She attended St George Girls' High, and then the University of Sydney before being awarded the 1851 Exhibition scholarship and moving to Oxford in 1939, where she worked with Robert Robinson, and John Cornforth, whom she married in 1941. |
In 1943, after finishing her thesis, both Rita and John Cornforth joined Robinson's team, researching the chemistry of Penicillin. She moved to the Medical Research Council in 1956, and then to the Shell Milstead Laboratory of Chemical Enzymology, where John Cornforth was co-director with George Popjak. They later moved to the University of Sussex, where both Rita and John were awarded honorary doctorates in 1977. Although Rita Cornforth has not received the same awards and honours as her husband, he paid tribute to her abilities and support when receiving the Nobel Prize in 1975, stating that 'her experimental skill made major contributions' to the Nobel Prize winning research.
Information from http://sydney.edu.au/science/chemistry/enewsletters/2013/issue-22-2013/ritacornforth.html and http://sydney.edu.au/science/chemistry/aboutus/history_articles/history_thecornforths.html, as well as biographical information obtained from obituaries of Sir John Cornforth.