Vincent du Vigneaud Biography
Birthday: May 18, 1901 (Taurus)
Born In: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Vincent du Vigneaud was an American biochemist who was awarded ‘Nobel Prize in Chemistry’ in 1955 for isolating and synthesizing two hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin, both of which are classically considered to be associated with the posterior pituitary. While the former acts as a prime agent in effecting uterine contractions and lactation, the latter arouses blood pressure by contraction of arterioles and also stimulates water retention. The chemical structure of the two hormones were also analysed by him and his team. He was the first in the field to synthesize a protein hormone that is oxytocin. He also achieved path-breaking success by synthesizing penicillin. His other scientific endeavours included identifying the chemical structure of the peptide hormone insulin and the sulfur-bearing biotin. Throughout his career he held several significant positions. He remained Head of the Biochemistry Department of the George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C. He served the Cornell University Medical College, New York City for almost three decades and held positions of Professor and Head of the Department of Biochemistry. He also served ‘Cornell University’ in Ithaca, New York as a Professor of Chemistry. Apart from the ‘Nobel Prize’ he received several other awards and medals including ‘Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research’ from the ‘American Public Health Association’ in 1948 and the ‘Passano Award’ from the ‘Passano Foundation’ in 1955.