History of Cortisone
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:
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."
Julian - Synthesis of Cortisone
Percy Julian invented a synthesis
Percy Lavon Julian synthesized the
medicines physostigmine for glaucoma and cortisone for rheumatoid arthritis.
Hastings Sarett - Synthetic Cortisone
Invented a synthetic version of
the hormone cortisone.
More on Cortisone
Chemical - Molecular Structure
Injections - Cortisone
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