New York , NY
Kazimierz Funk, Polish-american
Photograph - Photograph
Kazimierz Funk (February 23, 1884 - November 20, 1967), was a Polish-American biochemist. After reading an article by the Dutchman Christiaan Eijkman that indicated people eating brown rice were less vulnerable to beri-beri than those who ate only the fully milled product, he tried to isolate the substance responsible and he succeeded around 1912. Because that substance contained an amine group, he called it vitamine. It was later to be known as vitamin B1 (thiamine). He put forward the hypothesis that other diseases, like rickets, pellagra, sprue and scurvy could also be cured by vitamins. In 1936 he determined the molecular structure of thiamin, though he was not the first to isolate it. He was the first to isolate nicotinic acid (also called niacin or vitamin B3). He also conducted research into hormones, diabetes, ulcers, and the biochemistry of cancer. In 1940 he came to the United States and created the Funk Foundation for Medical Research and ended his career in pursuit of orally active spleenic extracts. He died in 1967 at the age of 83.
March 13th, 2013
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