Brief BIOS of Scientists Featured in the Course "Discoveries in Chemistry, Textiles, and Nutritional Sciences"

Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

Brief BIOS of Scientists Featured in the Course "Discoveries in Chemistry, Textiles, and Nutritional Sciences"


Louis Pasteur (1822-1895): 19th Century Science Professor in Paris

Bom in Dole, France, and raised in Arbois to a family of leather tanners. Educated at L'Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Married Marie Laurent who became a partner in his work. Known for development of the Pasteurization process, development of the rabies vaccine, refuting the theory of spontaneous generation, and the discovery of bacteria, part of which involved work to rescue the silk-producing industry in South Central France. His reputation was that of a kind, quiet, serious scientist, wellloved and respected by those who worked under him, one of whom was Hilaire de Chardonnet, credited with the discovery of rayon.

Emil Fischer \ (1852-1919): Nobel Prize -¿-igM in Chemistry, 1902

Bom in Euskirchen, Germany, to a family that owned a lumber business. Sent to the University of Bonn to study Chemistry, then went to the University of Strassburg (which was in Germany at that time and is now in France) where he received his PhD in 1874. He went on to work at the University of Wiirzburg. His notable discoveries include fluorescein, used as a marker for downed airmen during World War I, and the stmctures of various sugars and protein. Six of his students received Nobel Prizes. The family he established through marriage to his wife Agnes was marked by tragedy, including her early death and the deaths of two of their three sons, one by suicide and the other from typhoid during military service. He was diagnosed with intestinal carcinoma in 1919 and took his life that same year. A statue in his honor, the Fischer Memorial, is in Berlin.

Adolf Windaus (1876-1959), Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1928

Bom in Berlin, Germany, to a family with a drapery manufacturing business. Studied at the University of Freiburg and the University of Berlin. Along with his studies in chemistry, he also studied medicine, giving him a background in biology in addition to chemistry. His achievements include establishing the structure of cholesterol, along with the other sterols; the discovery of histamine and its role in symptoms of allergies; the discovery of Vitamin B^ use of irradiation to prolong the life of nutrient dense foods, a process that was particularly essential during wartime; and proposing the use of chemotherapy in cancer research. He married Elisabeth Resau in 1915 and the couple had three children. Professor Windaus earned many awards throughout his career, including the Goethe Medal and the Pasteur Medal.

Adolf von Baeyer (1835-1917): Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1905

Bom in Berlin, Germany, to a family that was distinguished in both literature and the natural sciences, von Baeyer began his studies in physics and mathematics, but then transferred to University of Heidelberg (Germany) to study with Robert Bunsen. He went on to the University of Munich and from there to Berlin. It was during his time in Berlin that he developed a synthetic indigo dye, which was a major stimulus for today's modem dye industry. Other major contributions include the synthesis of the benzodiazepines, an example of which is Valium, and work on the early plastic Bakelite, used in late 19th century and early 20th century home furnishings products. He married Adelheid Bendemann in 1868 and they had three children. He died at their country home at Starnberger See from complications of a seizure.

Richard Kuhn (1900-1967): Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1938

Bom in Vienna, Austria; his father was an engineer and his mother was a teacher, who home-schooled him for his early education. He received a PhD at the University of Vienna, and then went on to be Chair of the University of Munich, following von Baeyer (see above), and then to the University of Zurich (Switzerland). He contributed significantly to the knowledge of plant biochemistry, studying polyenes, plant pigments, and carotenoids. His work includes synthesis of Vitamin A, three forms of carotene, riboflavin, and chemotherapy. …

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