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American Chemical Society to honor Albert Szent-Gyrgyi

The American Chemical Society will honor the work of Albert Szent-Gyrgyi in identifying vitamin C with a ceremony in Szeged, Hungary, on May 11. In conjunction with the Hungarian Chemical Society, the ACS will designate Szent-Gyrgyis pioneering studies of vitamin C and biological combustion as an International Historic Chemical Landmark.

The American Chemical Society established the landmarks program in 1992 to commemorate seminal events in the history of chemistry and to heighten public awareness of the role chemistry has played in the history of the United States and around the world.

The highlight of the ceremony will be the presentation of a plaque to be mounted at the University of Szeged. Dr. Attila Pavlth, the immediate past president of the American Chemical Society, will present the plaque to Alajos Klmn, the President of the Hungarian Chemical Society. Dr. Pavlth was born and educated in Hungary, and he taught at the Technical University of Budapest before leaving Hungary in 1956. In 1958 he joined the Western Research Center at Stauffer Chemical Company in Richmond, California. Since 1967 he has been with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Albany, California.

The text of the plaque, which is in Hungarian and English, reads:

Albert Szent-Gyrgyi (1893-1986), biochemist, pioneered the study of biological oxidation mechanisms during the 1920s. Between 1930 and 1936, while a Professor at Szeged University, he proved that hexuronic acid, which he had previously isolated, is identical with vitamin C and that it could be extracted in kilogram quantities from paprika. In 1937, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discoveries in connection with the biological combustion processes, with special reference to vitamin C and the catalysis of fumaric acid." In later years he and his collaborators achieved world renown in the field of the biochemical mechanism of muscular contraction. From 194
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Contact: Judah Ginsberg
j_ginsberg@acs.org
202-872-6274
American Chemical Society
2-May-2002


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