James B. Sumner
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James B. Sumner Childhood, Facts, Scorpio - 𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐁. 𝐒𝐮𝐦𝐧𝐞𝐫 Biography
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Cid Ricketts Sumner
Amie Sumner
James SumnerJames Batcheller Sumner
Harvard University1914-06 - Harvard Medical School
Harvard University
Canton, Massachusetts, USA
Male
Charles Sumner
Elizabeth Rand Kelly Sumner
Scorpio
Canton, Massachusetts, USA
67
Buffalo
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Who is James B. Sumner?

undefined - James B. SumnerJames B. Sumner

James B. Sumner was an American chemist who received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1946 for his isolation of the enzyme called ‘urease’. He established the fact that enzymes had a nature similar to that of proteins which was a controversial topic at that time. He was the first scientist to isolate and crystallize the enzyme which is found in jack beans. His discovery was not taken seriously initially as everybody thought that isolating the enzyme was not possible. He was especially ridiculed by the famous German chemist Richard Willstatter who thought that what Sumner claimed was completely impossible. When another chemist named John H. Northrop was successful in isolating another enzyme called ‘Pepsin’ in 1930 at the ‘Rockfeller Institute, Sumner was given credit for his initial discovery. His research was initially based on analytical methods which did not produce any mentionable results though he worked hard. He then decided to isolate the ‘urease’ enzyme in pure form which had not been attempted previously. When it was proven that he had indeed derived an enzyme from his experiments, it seemed that he had devised a general process for isolating and crystallizing enzymes which had been never done before. He shared his Nobel Prize with Northrop and Wendell M. Stanley for this discovery.

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James B. Sumner Childhood & Early Life

James B. Sumner was born on November 19, 1887 in Canton, Massachusetts, USA. His ancestors were from Bicester, England who had immigrated to Boston, US in 1636.

His father Charles Sumner was a cotton manufacturer and his mother was Elizabeth Rand Kelly Sumner. He had a sister named Amie Sumner.

His grandfather owned a farm and a cotton factory while his father owned a large estate.

He initially attended the Eliot Grammar School for a few years during his schooldays.

Later on he went to the ‘Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury, Massachusetts’.

After graduating from high school he attended the ‘Harvard University’ in 1906 from where he received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1910.

He was left one-armed throughout his life after a shooting accident as a teenager.

He resigned from the assistantship in chemistry at the ‘Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass, in 1912 to study biochemistry under Professor Otto Folin at the ‘Harvard Medical School’.

He persisted and got his PhD in chemistry from the ‘Harvard University’ in 1914 even though Professor Otto Folin thought Sumner could not become a successful chemist with one hand.

James B. Sumner Career

James B. Sumner started working at his uncle’s cotton knitting factory after getting his bachelor’s degree but he soon lost interest in the work.

He joined as a teacher of Chemistry and Physiology at the ‘Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada’ where he worked from 1910 to 1911.

He did an assistantship in chemistry at the ‘Worcester Polytechnic Institute’ from 1911 to 1912.

Sumner was in Switzerland at the outbreak of the First World War when he received an invitation to teach Biochemistry at the ‘Cornell Medical School, Ithaca, NY’. He worked there from 1914 to 1929.

During the early stages of his research he was awarded an American-Belgian fellowship in 1921. He decided to go to Brussels and work with Jean Effront who was an authority on enzymes. This plan was unsuccessful as Effront thought that Sumner’s method of isolating the ‘unrease’ enzyme was highly doubtful.

He went back to Ithaca and continued with his research until he was successful in doing so in 1926. Every biochemist who was told of his discovery disbelieved him but Sumner was able to get a full professorship in 1929.

In 1937 he succeeded in isolating a second enzyme called ‘Catalase’ in the crystalline form while working at the laboratory in the ‘Cornell Medical School’.

Later on he became the Director of the ‘Enzyme Chemistry Laboratory’ in the ‘Cornell University’ and held the post from 1947 to 1955.

James B. Sumner Major Works

James B. Sumner published his first book ‘Textbook of Biological Chemistry’ in 1927.

In 1943 he published his second book ‘The Chemistry and Methods of Enzymes’ with G. Fred Somers. His second book with Somers was ‘Laboratory Experiments in Biological Chemistry’ which came out in 1944.

His fourth book ‘The Enzymes: Chemistry and Mechanism of Action’ with Karl Myrback was published in four volumes in 1951-52.

James B. Sumner Awards & Achievements

James B. Sumner received the ‘Guggenheim Fellowship’ in 1937 to work at Professor The Svedberg’s laboratory in Uppsala.

He was awarded the ‘Scheele Medal’ in 1937.

In 1946 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

In 1948 he was given a membership of the ‘National Academy of Sciences, USA’ in 1948.

He was also made a Fellow of the ‘American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ in 1949.

James B. Sumner Personal Life & Legacy

His first was with Bertha Louise Ricketts, an American novelist, on July 10, 1915 whom he later divorced in 1930. He had four children from this marriage. He had two daughters named Roberta and Prudence.

His second wife was Agnes Paulina Lundkvist whom he married in 1931 and also divorced later. He did not have any children from this marriage.

His third marriage was with Mary Morrison in 1943 and he had two children from this marriage.

James B. Sumner died of cancer on August 12, 1955 at Buffalo, NY, USA.

James B. Sumner Trivia

He was fond of hunting and during one of these hunting expeditions he was accidentally shot in the left arm by a companion. He lost his left arm from the elbow downwards which had to be amputated due to the accident when he was 17 years old. He had to learn from the beginning how to use his right arm including how to write as he was left handed and even tried to excel in all types of sporting activities.

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James B. Sumner biography timelines

  • James B. Sumner was born on November 19, 1887 in Canton, Massachusetts, USA. His ancestors were from Bicester, England who had immigrated to Boston, US in 1636.
    19th Nov 1636 To 19th Nov 1887
  • After graduating from high school he attended the ‘Harvard University’ in 1906 from where he received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1910.
    1906 To 1910
  • He joined as a teacher of Chemistry and Physiology at the ‘Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada’ where he worked from 1910 to 1911.
    1910 To 1911
  • He did an assistantship in chemistry at the ‘Worcester Polytechnic Institute’ from 1911 to 1912.
    1911 To 1912
  • He resigned from the assistantship in chemistry at the ‘Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass, in 1912 to study biochemistry under Professor Otto Folin at the ‘Harvard Medical School’.
    1912
  • He persisted and got his PhD in chemistry from the ‘Harvard University’ in 1914 even though Professor Otto Folin thought Sumner could not become a successful chemist with one hand.
    1914
  • Sumner was in Switzerland at the outbreak of the First World War when he received an invitation to teach Biochemistry at the ‘Cornell Medical School, Ithaca, NY’. He worked there from 1914 to 1929.
    1914 To 1929
  • His first was with Bertha Louise Ricketts, an American novelist, on July 10, 1915 whom he later divorced in 1930. He had four children from this marriage. He had two daughters named Roberta and Prudence.
    10th Jul 1915 To 1930
  • During the early stages of his research he was awarded an American-Belgian fellowship in 1921. He decided to go to Brussels and work with Jean Effront who was an authority on enzymes. This plan was unsuccessful as Effront thought that Sumner’s method of isolating the ‘unrease’ enzyme was highly doubtful.
    1921
  • He went back to Ithaca and continued with his research until he was successful in doing so in 1926. Every biochemist who was told of his discovery disbelieved him but Sumner was able to get a full professorship in 1929.
    1926 To 1929
  • James B. Sumner published his first book ‘Textbook of Biological Chemistry’ in 1927.
    1927
  • His second wife was Agnes Paulina Lundkvist whom he married in 1931 and also divorced later. He did not have any children from this marriage.
    1931
  • In 1937 he succeeded in isolating a second enzyme called ‘Catalase’ in the crystalline form while working at the laboratory in the ‘Cornell Medical School’.
    1937
  • James B. Sumner received the ‘Guggenheim Fellowship’ in 1937 to work at Professor The Svedberg’s laboratory in Uppsala.
    1937
  • He was awarded the ‘Scheele Medal’ in 1937.
    1937
  • In 1943 he published his second book ‘The Chemistry and Methods of Enzymes’ with G. Fred Somers. His second book with Somers was ‘Laboratory Experiments in Biological Chemistry’ which came out in 1944.
    1943 To 1944
  • His third marriage was with Mary Morrison in 1943 and he had two children from this marriage.
    1943
  • In 1946 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
    1946
  • Later on he became the Director of the ‘Enzyme Chemistry Laboratory’ in the ‘Cornell University’ and held the post from 1947 to 1955.
    1947 To 1955
  • In 1948 he was given a membership of the ‘National Academy of Sciences, USA’ in 1948.
    1948
  • He was also made a Fellow of the ‘American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ in 1949.
    1949
  • His fourth book ‘The Enzymes: Chemistry and Mechanism of Action’ with Karl Myrback was published in four volumes in 1951-52.
    1951
  • James B. Sumner died of cancer on August 12, 1955 at Buffalo, NY, USA.
    12th Aug 1955
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Frequently asked questions about James B. Sumner

  • What is James B. Sumner birthday?

    James B. Sumner was born at November 19, 1887

  • Where is James B. Sumner's birth place?

    James B. Sumner was born in Canton, Massachusetts, USA

  • What is James B. Sumner nationalities?

    James B. Sumner's nationalities is American

  • Who is James B. Sumner spouses?

    James B. Sumner's spouses is Cid Ricketts Sumner

  • Who is James B. Sumner siblings?

    James B. Sumner's siblings is Amie Sumner

  • What was James B. Sumner universities?

    James B. Sumner studied at Harvard University, 1914-06 - Harvard Medical School university

  • What was James B. Sumner notable alumnis?

    James B. Sumner's notable alumnis is Harvard University

  • Who is James B. Sumner's father?

    James B. Sumner's father is Charles Sumner

  • Who is James B. Sumner's mother?

    James B. Sumner's mother is Elizabeth Rand Kelly Sumner

  • What is James B. Sumner's sun sign?

    James B. Sumner is Scorpio

  • When was James B. Sumner died?

    James B. Sumner was died at August 12, 1955

  • Where was James B. Sumner died?

    James B. Sumner was died in Buffalo

  • Which age was James B. Sumner died?

    James B. Sumner was died at age 67