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Hecht, Selig (08 February 1892–18 September 1947), physiologist and biophysicist, was born in the village of Glogow, in what was then Austrian Poland, the son of Mandel Hecht and Mary Mresse. His family emigrated in 1898, settling in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where Mandel Hecht worked as a foreman in the men’s clothing industry. Selig attended both local public schools and Hebrew school, also studying Hebrew at home under his father’s tutelage. He worked as a bookkeeper throughout his high school and college years to help support himself....

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Henderson, Lawrence Joseph (03 June 1878–10 February 1942), biochemist and physiologist, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Henderson, a businessman, and Mary Bosworth. Henderson attended high school in Salem, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard University in 1898. He received his medical degree from the Harvard Medical School in 1902 and then spent two postdoctoral years in Strassburg in the laboratory of Franz Hofmeister, a pioneer in the application of physical chemistry to biochemistry. Upon returning to the United States in 1904, Henderson joined the Harvard faculty as a lecturer in biological chemistry. He also carried out research in the laboratory of the chemist ...

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Lusk, Graham (15 February 1866–18 July 1932), physiologist and biochemist, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of William Thompson Lusk, an obstetrician, and Mary Hartwell Chittenden. Having impaired hearing, young Lusk followed his father’s advice not to become a physician and instead studied chemistry at the Columbia School of Mines in New York, graduating with a Ph.B. in 1887. To study the biological sciences, Lusk traveled to Europe; in the next few years he worked first in Leipzig under the famous physiologist Carl Ludwig and then in Munich under the physiological chemist Carl Voit. In 1891 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Munich and returned to America full of enthusiasm for the Voit-Rubner doctrines in nutrition, which held that the energy derived from the metabolism of the three groups of foodstuffs—carbohydrate, fat, and protein—was exchangeable in the body in accordance with caloric equivalence. Voit and Rubner also stated that the metabolic rate was related to the body surface area of the individual....

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O’Leary, James Lee (08 December 1904–25 May 1975), pioneer in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, was born in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, the son of James O’Leary, an engineer turned lawyer, and Mary Whalen. Shortly after O’Leary was born, his mother developed a lung infection, and the family had to move to a drier climate. He grew up in San Antonio, Texas. O’Leary’s father died when the boy was eleven, and his mother began a real estate business to provide for her children. O’Leary did quite well in school and at the age of sixteen entered the University of Chicago. In 1925 he received his bachelor’s degree, and under the influence of Robert R. Bensley of the department of anatomy, he was drawn toward research. With Bensley’s assistance, he received a scholarship to study anatomy and entered the doctoral program at Chicago, remaining in the laboratories of Bensley. Other influential professors at Chicago included ...