e accepted a position with the Glidden Company in Chicago as director of research for the Soya Product Division. Over the next 18 years the results of Julian's research led to numerous patents and successful products for Glidden, among them a fire-retardant foam used widely in World War II to extinguish gasoline fires. His biomedical research paved the way for the production of large quantities of inexpensive synthetic progesterone from soybeans. He also developed a synthetic version of cortisone, used to relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Natural cortisone was extremely expensive but Julian's discovery of a soy-based substitute helped millions of arthritis sufferers find relief at a reasonable price.
In 1953, he established Julian Laboratories which he sold eight years later for $2 million. In 1973, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Julian died on April 19, 1975. (For more on Percy Julian's life, please visit the National Historic Chemical Web site at http://chemistry.org/landmarks/julian.html.)
"Forgotten Genius" had financial support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation as well as seed money from the American Chemical Society. Anne O'Brien, Ph.D., a current member of the ACS Board of Directors, says "the chance to honor this American chemist, to offer Dr. Julian as a role model. and to have that message reach an audience as large as NOVA's, was an opportunity not to be missed."
Contact: Judah Ginsberg
American Chemical Society 11-Jan-2007Page: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
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