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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 59, Number 2 (Oct. 1957)

New look in biochemistry,   pp. [12]-[14]


Page 13


Wisconsin, continued Babcock's work in
dairy chemistry, and began to expand
research on nutrition. Other noted fig-
ures became members of the biochem-
istry department in those early years-
among them E. V. McCollum, W. E.
Tottingham, Harry     Steenbock, and
W. H. Peterson.
   By 1913 the research and teaching
program at Wisconsin had expanded to
the point where an entire building was
needed and the present Biochemistry
building was erected in that year. One
new wing was constructed in 1941 with
funds provided by the Wisconsin Alum-
ni Research Foundation and the federal
government, and the latest addition was
begun in 1954.
   During the years, many outstanding
 contributions to human knowledge and
 health have been made by Wisconsin
 biochemists. They include the discovery
 by Harry Steenbock that ultra-violet irra-
 diation will increase the Vitamin D con-
 tent of milk and the discovery of Con-
 rad A. Elvehjem, present department
 Wisconsin Alumnus, October, 1957
chairman and graduate school dean, that
one of the Vitamin B deficiencies is the
cause of the once-dread pellagra. More
recent discoveries include those by Karl
Paul Link, who isolated dicumarol, now
used to treat certain heart diseases, and
Warfarin, now used throughout the
world as an outstandingly effective rat
poison.
   Since the first two scientific papers
were published in 1907, some 2,500
have been written and published in tech-
nical journals by Wisconsin biochem-
ists-each representing an advancement
in man's knowledge of the chemistry of
life. In recent years, the annual number
of publications has exceeded one hun-
dred. An analysis of these publications
brings out the interesting fact that much
of the work has been carried on in co-
operation with other departments, such
as bacteriology, plant pathology, agron-
omy and dairy, poultry and animal hus-
bandry.
   During this period, too, some 500
 students have obtained doctorates in bio-
more pictures on next page ..p
chemistry at Wisconsin, more than have
-been granted by any other university in
the nation. These men have moved into
a great variety of positions-from fun-
damental biochemistry to executive posts
with large industrial concerns. The new
president of the Wisconsin Alumni As-
sociation, John A. Keenan, received his
Ph.D. degree in biochemistry at Wis-
consin.
   Today the demand on the part of
 food industries, pharmaceutictl houses,
 and other organizations for biochemists
 is greater than can be supplied by each
 year's graduates.
    An important part of modern bio-
 chemical research is the study of how
 new and potent chemicals affect life.
    "Research in this field-as well as in
 the other fields which have shown prom-
 ise for human welfare-will provide
 men with a healthier and happier exist-
 ence," Elvehjem says. "We are proud
 to be part of this work, and confident
 that Wisconsin can continue to con-
 tribute her share to progress."
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