You are here:
About.com

FREE Newsletter

 
Inventors History of Cortisone
Percy Julian
was noted most for his synthesis of cortisone from soy beans.

Percy Julian synthesized physostigmine for treatment of glaucoma and cortisone for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Percy Julian is also noted for a fire-extinguishing foam for gasoline and oil fires.

Born in Montgomery, Alabama and one of six children, Percy Julian had little schooling. At that time, Montgomery provided limited public education for Blacks. However, Percy Julian entered DePauw University as a "sub-freshman" and graduated in 1920 as class valedictorian. Percy Julian then taught chemistry at Fisk University, and in 1923, earned a master’s degree from Harvard University. In 1931, Percy Julian received his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna.

Percy Julian returned to DePauw University, where his reputation was established in 1935 by synthesizing physostigmine from the calabar bean. Percy Julian went on to become director of research at the Glidden Company, a paint and varnish manufacturer. He developed a process for isolating and preparing soy bean protein, which could be used to coat and size paper, to create cold water paints, and to size textiles. During World War II, Percy Julian used a soy protein to produce AeroFoam, which suffocates gasoline and oil fires.

Percy Julian was noted most for his synthesis of cortisone from soy beans, used in treating rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. His synthesis reduced the price of cortisone. Percy Julian was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1990.

Dr. Percy Lavon Julian was born on April 11, 1899, and died on April l9, 1975.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater had this to say about Percy Julian:

 "Those who had earlier sought to keep their slaves in chains were well aware of the threat education posed to their ‘peculiar’ institution. Consider what happened to the grandfather of Dr. Percy Julian, the great Black research chemist who, over his lifetime, was awarded 105 patents--among them a treatment for glaucoma and a low-cost process to produce cortisone. When Percy Julian decided to leave Alabama to go to college in Indiana, his entire family came to see him off at the train station, including his ninety-nine year old grandmother, a former slave. His grandfather was also there. His grandfather’s right hand was two fingers short. His fingers had been cut off for violating the code forbidding slaves to learn to read and write."

Percy Julian - Synthesis of Cortisone
Percy Julian invented a synthesis of Cortisone.

Percy Julian
Percy Lavon Julian synthesized the medicines physostigmine for glaucoma and cortisone for rheumatoid arthritis.

Lewis Hastings Sarett - Synthetic Cortisone 
Invented a synthetic version of the hormone cortisone.

More on Cortisone 
Cortisone Chemical - Molecular Structure
Steroid Injections - Cortisone

Related Information
Black Inventors
Medical Innovations

©Mary Bellis

Subscribe to the Newsletter
Name
Email


 
 
From Mary Bellis,
Your Guide to Inventors.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

Important disclaimer information about this About site.


Newsletters & RSSEmail to a friendAdd to del.icio.us
 
All Topics | Email Article | |
Our Story | Be a Guide | Advertising Info | News & Events | Work at About | Site Map | Reprints | Help
User Agreement | Ethics Policy | Patent Info. | Privacy Policy | Kids' Privacy Policy

©2006 About, Inc., A part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.
Mental Health

Depression Self-Test Vitamins for Depression? Bipolar Red Flags Coping With Disasters Celebrities With Bipolar

What's Hot

Gyroscopes - Elmer Sperry and Charles Stark Draper Gyroscope...Angel AlcalaThe History of the BikiniRusi Taleyarkhan Jack Johnson