​​Dame Carol Robinson named Lifetime Achievement laureate in European Inventor Award​

Carol Vivien Robinson

The European Patent Office (EPO) is proud to announce Dame Carol Robinson is the Lifetime Achievement laureate in the European Inventor Award 2024. An independent jury selected the British chemist for her extensive contributions to blood analysis, drug development and  biochemical research. Robinson’s career also stands as a pillar for gender diversity in STEM, as the first woman to hold a full professorship in chemistry at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. In addition, her commitment to mentorship has inspired numerous postgraduate students and early-career scientists. 

Despite initial scepticism for her work, Robinson persevered: “As a scientist, I've always been quite fearless about going in my own direction. That has been my mantra throughout my career. I never wanted to follow the crowd." 

The EPO will pay tribute to her life and work during the European Inventor Award ceremony streamed from Malta on 9 July 2024. At the same ceremony, the EPO will reveal the winners in each category as well as the Popular Prize winner, chosen by online public vote.  

Pioneering personalised medicine 

Mass spectrometry is an analytical tool that enables the detection of molecules and so helps scientists identify the composition of chemical substances, including proteins. Robinson developed 'native mass spectrometry', a technique that preserves proteins in their natural state without altering their structure, allowing scientists to gain detailed insights into their functions and interactions. It enables precise measurements and analyses of protein complexes that play critical roles in various diseases. This breakthrough paves the way for the development of targeted medications that can address disease mechanisms more effectively than ever before.