Percy Julian Born to former slaves in Alabama in... - Wissenschaft und Deutsch

Percy Julian

Born to former slaves in Alabama in 1899, pioneering chemist Percy Julian was not allowed to attend high school but went on to earn his Ph.D. His research at academic and corporate institutions led to the chemical synthesis of drugs to treat glaucoma and arthritis, and although his race presented challenges at every turn, he is regarded as one of the most influential chemists in American history.

Early Life

Percy Lavon Julian was born April 11, 1899, in Montgomery, Alabama, the grandson of former slaves. He attended school through the eighth grade but there were no high schools open to black students. He applied to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he had to take high school-level classes in the evening to get him up to the academic level of his peers. In spite of this challenging beginning, he graduated first in his class, with Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Life in Academia

After college, Julian accepted a position as a chemistry instructor at Fisk University. He left in 1923 when he received a scholarship to attend Harvard University to finish his master’s degree, though the university would not allow him to pursue his doctorate. He traveled for several years, teaching at black colleges, before obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of Vienna in Austria in 1931. 

With his doctorate in hand, he returned to DePauw to continue his research. In 1935 he earned international acclaim by synthesizing physostigmine from the calabar bean to create a drug treatment for glaucoma, but in spite of his success, the university refused to make him a full professor because of his race.

Later Career

Desiring to leave academia, Julian applied for jobs at prominent chemical companies, but was repeatedly rejected when hiring managers discovered that he was black. Ultimately, he obtained a position at Glidden Company as the lab director. There he invented Aero-Foam, a product that uses soy protein to put out oil and gas fires and was widely used in World War II, as well as other soybean-based inventions. 

Julian continued his biomedical work as well, and discovered how to extract sterols from soybean oil and synthesize the hormones progesterone and testosterone. He was also lauded for his synthesis of cortisone, which became used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

read more

  1. aleinor reblogged this from aleinor
  2. imfreshlysqueezed reblogged this from poc-in-science
  3. poc-in-science reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  4. potzillaroar reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  5. glittecclesia-butt-gayer reblogged this from anthrocentric
  6. vegetaco reblogged this from scinerds
  7. farfuckinout reblogged this from quartzparchmentshears
  8. quartzparchmentshears reblogged this from scinerds
  9. quantumspork reblogged this from scinerds
  10. blueviolets82 reblogged this from scandalmusingsandmore
  11. asseenin1080 reblogged this from biomedicalstudents
  12. canadian-immunology reblogged this from scinerds
  13. demoni reblogged this from korraisnottan
  14. ah-thenah reblogged this from scinerds
  15. we-gayparee reblogged this from marigoround-talk and added:
    Why is this man not being celebrated in schools. Also, does anyone know who Vivian Thomas is…….he invented the heart...
  16. marigoround-talk reblogged this from scandalmusingsandmore
  17. calebonyqt reblogged this from babycakesbriauna
  18. scandalmusingsandmore reblogged this from verbena99 and added:
    #BlackHistory #AmericanHistory #WorldHistory #MedicalHistory And to think most American never heard of him including the...
  19. verbena99 reblogged this from babycakesbriauna
  20. babycakesbriauna reblogged this from cinnabana
  21. cinnabana reblogged this from duchessofdeviance
  22. medianoche731 reblogged this from korraisnottan
  23. octagonperfectionist reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  24. skypalacearchitect reblogged this from korraisnottan
  25. windandsails reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  26. thefeministbird reblogged this from wrenosaurusrex
  27. cmtothemc reblogged this from blaqueinque
  28. blaqueinque reblogged this from korraisnottan
  29. thebrigeedarocks reblogged this from korraisnottan
  30. korraisnottan reblogged this from bmblbear
  31. bmblbear reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  32. dougcmatthews reblogged this from scorpiobleue
  33. wrenosaurusrex reblogged this from shortfatbitch
  34. historicalwhatsits reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove