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Benedict, Francis Gano (03 October 1870–14 May 1957), chemist and physiologist, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Washington Gano Benedict, a businessman, and Harriet Emily Barrett. In about 1878 the family moved to Orange Park, Florida, and in 1881 to Boston, Massachusetts, where Benedict attended public schools and took piano lessons because of his parents’ interest in music....

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Fulton, John Farquhar (01 November 1899–29 May 1960), neurophysiologist and medical historian, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, son of John Farquhar Fulton, a physician, and Edith Stanley Wheaton. After spending the 1917–1918 academic year at the University of Minnesota, Fulton entered Harvard University, from which he received a B.S., magna cum laude, in 1921. As a recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship, Fulton attended Magdalen College at Oxford University for two years, followed by an additional two years at Oxford as a Christopher Welch Scholar and demonstrator in physiology. He received a B.A. from Oxford with first-class honors in 1923, and an M.A. and D.Phil. in 1925. Returning to the United States, he studied medicine at Harvard, receiving his M.D., again magna cum laude, in 1927. He married Lucia Pickering Wheatland, of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1923; they had no children....

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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 ...

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Robbins, William Jacob (22 February 1890–05 October 1978), botanist, physiologist, and institution director, was born in North Platte, Nebraska, the son of Frederick Woods Robbins, a schoolteacher and administrator, and Clara Jeanette Federhof, a journalist. When he was two, his family moved to Muncy, Pennsylvania. Robbins graduated from high school in 1906 and then attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1910 with Phi Beta Kappa honors. After teaching at Lehigh and at the Mining and Mechanical Institute at Freeland, Pennsylvania, for one year, he entered graduate school at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Originally Robbins planned to train as a plant pathologist and a scientific farmer, but he changed the focus of his studies to plant physiology. He worked as an instructor at Cornell from 1912 to 1916; he earned his doctorate there in 1915. On 15 July 1915, Robbins married Christine Faye Chapman, a botanist who later became a scientific biographer. They had three sons, one of whom, Frederick Robbins, won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1954....