VincentduVigneaud, an American biochemist, received the 1955Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his breakthrough achievement of synthesizing oxytocin--a hormone released by the posterior pituitary gland used to induce labor and lactation in pregnant women, and for his work with sulfur.
Throughout his career, duVigneaud was recognized for isolating and synthesizing penicillin and the hormone vasopressin, which is used to suppress urine flow, identifying the chemical composition of insulin, discovering the structure of vitamin H, otherwise known as biotin, and his pioneering work with methyl groups.
DuVigneaud's investigations, which were inspired by a lecture given by renowned biochemist W. Rose at the University of Illinois, sparked a lifelong interest in the range of sulfur compounds, but especially the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine, homocystine, cystine, cysteine, and cystathionine.
VincentduVigneaud was born in Chicago, Illinois, on 18th May, 1901, the son of the late inventor and machine designer Alfred J. duVigneaud and his wife, Mary Theresa.
On his return to America, duVigneaud joined the Physiological Chemical Staff at The University of Illinois under Professor W.C. Rose and in 1932 he became Head of the Biochemistry Department at the George Washington University School of Medicine.
DuVigneaud has held many lectureships in universities in the United States and England, among the latter the Liversidge Lectureship at Cambridge, and in the summer of 1947 he was Visiting Lecturer of the American Swiss Foundation for Scientific Exchange in Switzerland.
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