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William Cumming Rose

William Cumming Rose
Born April 4, 1887
Greenville, South Carolina
Died September 25, 1985 (1985-09-26) (aged 98)
Urbana, Illinois
Nationality United States
Fields Biochemistry
Alma mater Yale University
Doctoral advisor Template:If empty
Known for essential amino acids
Notable awards Willard Gibbs Award (1952)
National Medal of Science (1966)

William Cumming Rose (April 4, 1887 – September 25, 1985) was an American nutritionist whose research in the 1930s determined the essential amino acids, including threonine.

William's father was a Presbyterian minister who began to homeschool William in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew when he was 14 years old. He also studied an introductory chemistry textbook by Ira Remsen. He then studied at Davidson College in North Carolina for his bachelor degree. He took up graduate education at Yale University studying food chemistry with Russell Chittenden and Lafayette Mendel. He was granted a Ph.D. in 1911.[1]

Rose taught for a time at University of Pennsylvania with Alonzo Taylor. Taylor recommended him to University of Texas Galveston Medical School to organize a department of biochemistry. In 1922, he went to the University of Illinois as professor of physiological chemistry, a title which was changed to professor of biochemistry in 1936. From 1922 to 1955 he transformed his department into a center of excellence for the training of biochemists.[2] His studies led him to the point where it was "practicable to evaluate proteins in terms of their ability to meet human needs." In June 1949 he published "Amino Acid Requirements of Man".[3] He retired from the University of Illinois in 1955.

Rose recalled the role of Yale through the work of Samuel William Johnson, Chittenden, and Mendel in 1977 with the article "Recollections of personalities involved in the early history of American biochemistry".[4] Further, he recounted the biochemical advances he witnessed in "How did it happen".[5]

Awards and honors


  1. ^ Thesis: Studies in intermediate metabolism; mucic acid and carbohydrate metabolism; the physiology of cratine and cratinine elimination, their relation to carbohydrate metabolism
  2. ^ The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois. "William Cumming Rose (1887 - 1985) / Chemistry at Illinois". Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  3. ^ Classic reprint: Nutrition Reviews 34(10):307–9
  4. ^ Journal of Chemical Education 46:759–63 and Nutrition Reviews 35(4):87–94
  5. ^ Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 325(1):229–36
  6. ^ Spencer award winners from Kansas City branch of American Chemical Society

External links

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