Whose Birthday Is It? April 11, 2018

Percy Lavon Julian (1899)

Julian was an African-American chemist and a pioneer in the synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants. Due to the institutional racism of the time, Julian was forced to overcome enormous obstacles to obtain his PhD and was repeatedly denied opportunities for employment and academic tenure. His home in Illinois was firebombed. Nevertheless, he developed an important fire-fighting foam from soy protein and revolutionized the synthetic hormone industry, making possible what treatments? More…

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