About Jane Richardson
Showing an early interest in astronomy, Jane Richardson built her own telescope and made calculations based on observations of Sputnik I, winning her third place in the 1958 STS. She went on to receive degrees from Swarthmore College and Harvard University. In her career, Richardson has worked at universities studying protein structures and RNA. She not only discovered how some proteins were structured, but also developed a system for representing proteins in 2D drawings. Her research and development of these innovative “ribbon diagrams” earned her a MacArthur Fellowship in 1985.
Science Talent Search 1958
Richardson with Dr. J.R. Killian Jr., Special Assistant for Science and Technology of the United States, after winning third place at STS.
Before she became well known for her protein drawings, Richardson drew the path of Sputnik for her STS project.
A longtime Duke University professor, Richardson created widely known and influential graphic depictions of protein structures there, earning her the nickname “Mother of Ribbon Diagrams.”