William Howard Stein - Harvard University, Family and Family

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William Howard Stein's Personal Details

William Howard Stein was an American biochemist who was jointly awarded the ‘Nobel Prize in Chemistry’ in 1972

InformationDetail
BirthdayJune 25, 1911
Died onFebruary 2, 1980
NationalityAmerican
FamousColumbia University, Harvard University, Scientists, Biochemists
SpousesPhoebe Hockstader
Known asWilliam H. Stein
Childrens David F. Stein, Jr., Robert J. Stein, William H. Stein
Universities
  • Columbia University,Harvard University
  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
Notable Alumnis
  • Columbia University
  • Harvard University
Birth PlaceNew York City, US
GenderMale
FatherFred Michael Stein
MotherBeatrice Cecilla (Borg)
Sun SignCancer
Born inNew York City, US
Famous asBiochemist
Died at Age68

// Famous Alumni of Harvard University

William Howard Stein's photo

Who is William Howard Stein?

William Howard Stein was an American biochemist who was jointly awarded the ‘Nobel Prize in Chemistry’ in 1972 with American biochemists Stanford Moore and Christian B. Anfinsen. The contributory research work for which he received the award was concerned with structure of ribonuclease (RNase) and also for comprehending association of the ribonuclease molecule’s chemical structure with that of its catalytic activity. He collaborated with Moore to develop new procedures of chromatography, a process of separating a mixture, for applying to analyse amino acids and small peptides procured through protein hydrolysis. The first automatic amino-acid analyzer, which hugely aided in the study of amino acid sequences of proteins, was developed by them. They also used the new tool to make the first analysis of the complete chemical structure of the pancreatic enzyme ribonuclease. Stein spent his entire professional career at Rockefeller serving as Professor of Biochemistry first at the ‘Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research’ and thereafter at the ‘Rockefeller University’. He also remained visiting professor of many universities including ‘Harvard University’ and ‘University of Chicago’. He received several awards along with fellow biochemist Stanford Moore including the American Chemical Society Award in Chromatography and Electrophoresis in 1964; the ‘Linderstrom-Lang Medal’ from the ‘Carlsberg Research Center’ in 1972; and the ‘Richards Medal’ of the ‘American Chemical Society’ in 1972.

// Famous Biochemists

Childhood & Early Life

He was born on June 25, 1911, in New York City, in a Jewish family to Fred Michael Stein and his wife Beatrice Cecilla (Borg) as their second child among three.

His father was a businessman who took early retirement to dedicate into matters related to healthcare. His mother was a child rights activist. His elder brother Fred Micheal Stein, Jr. became a health advocate and younger sister Cecilia Borg Stein Cullman was a child rights activist like her mother.

He attended the ‘Lincoln School of Teachers College’ of ‘Columbia University’, a private co-educational university laboratory school in New York City from 1926 to 1927. The ideas and methods of the school were considered to be most progressive of that time.

Thereafter he joined ‘Phillips Exeter Academy’, a co-educational independent school, in Exeter, New Hampshire and studied there till 1929. He was inspired to take up fundamental science or medicine by his parents.

He then joined ‘Harvard University’ from where he completed BS in Chemistry in 1933.

In 1935 he completed MS in Chemistry from ‘Columbia University’.

He then earned PhD in 1938 from ‘Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons’, New York City, submitting a thesis on the amino acid analysis of elastin, a highly elastic protein.

Career

After completing his PhD he was inducted at the ‘Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research’ as a researcher in 1938 under renowned Jewish-German biochemist Max Bergmann. Here he had the opportunity to be associated with an outstanding group of researchers including Moore, Klaus Hofmann, Emil L. Smith and Joseph S. Fruton among others. It is at the Rockefeller that he conducted most of his significant research works.

He and Moore were delegated to chalk out precise analytical procedures to analyse amino acid composition of proteins. However the ‘Second World War’ interrupted their work on proteins when Moore was enlisted as a technical aid in the ‘National Defense Research Council’ in Washington in 1942. Moreover during wartime the entire research group of Bergmann was engrossed to work for the ‘Office of Scientific Research and Development’.

Following the death of Bergmann in 1944, the laboratory became devoid of a chief, although the research team carried on with their work.

Post war Moore returned to Rockefeller Institute after accepting an offer of the then Director Herbert Gasser who provided Stein and Moore with the liberty and space of conducting research work of their line of interest.

In 1952 he became Professor of Biochemistry at ‘Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research’ and served the post till 1965.

By such time Archer John Porter Martin and Richard Laurence Millington Synge came up with significant development of separating amino acids by applying paper chromatography in England.

Following suggestion of Synge, Stein and Moore endeavoured into separating amino acids on columns of potato starch, marking the beginning of their work on amino acids.

The duo became successful in separating out individual amino acids from a synthetic mixture, a work that was featured in the peer-reviewed scientific journal ‘Journal of Biological Chemistry’. They applied their procedures to analyse the structures of bovine serum albumin and β-lactoglobulin.

For over fifteen years he was associated with ‘Journal of Biological Chemistry’ first as a member of the editorial committee from 1955 to 1962. From 1958 to 1961 he remained the chairman of the committee following which he became a member of the editorial board of the journal in 1962. Thereafter he served as an associate editor from 1964 to 1968 and finally became the editor of the journal in 1968. He had to give up the position in 1971 due to illness.

From 1957 to 1970 he remained a member of the Medical Advisory Board of ‘Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School’.

In 1958 he along with Moore developed the first automatic amino-acid analyzer that facilitated the analysis of amino acid sequences of proteins and this development also led to determine the composition of the enzyme ribonuclease.

In 1959 he along with Moore declared the first analysis of the entire amino acid sequence of ribonuclease. They also delved into examining the composition, function and association of several other proteins like pancreatic ribonuclease, ribonuclease T1, pepsin, chymotrypsin, pancreatic deoxyribonuclease and streptococcal proteinase.

They were financially aided for a period by the biomedical research facility, ‘National Institutes of Health’ (NIH) in their research work.

He was a member of the Council of the Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness of the ‘National Institutes of Health’ from 1961 to 1966.

From 1965 to 1982 he remained Professor of Biochemistry at the ‘Rockefeller University’.

His other academic endeavours included serving as visiting professor of ‘University of Chicago’ (1961), ‘Haverford College’ (1962), ‘Harvard University’ (1964), and ‘Washington University at St. Louis’ (1965).

During 1968-69 he served as Chairman of the U.S. National Committee for Biochemistry.

He was associated with several scientific societies including ‘American Society of Biological Chemists’, ‘American Academy of Arts and Sciences’, ‘American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’, ‘American Association for the Advancement of Science’, ‘National Academy of Sciences’, ‘Harvey Society’ of New York, ‘Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society’ and ‘Biochemical Society’ of London. Stein remained a Trustee of ‘Montefiore Hospital’.

He suffered from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare condition where the immune system of the body erringly attacks the peripheral nerves and causes damage to their myelin insulation. This condition resulted in his paralysis around 1971 thus limiting his scientific research career thereafter. His winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1972 made him the first quadriplegic Nobel Laureate.

The physical disorder made him wheelchair bound and the last stage of his life saw him visiting office occasionally till 1980.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1936 while undergoing his graduation studies he married Phoebe Hockstader. They were blessed with three sons - William H. Stein, Jr. born in 1937, David F. Stein born in 1939 and Robert J. Stein born in 1944.

On February 2, 1980, he succumbed to heart attack in New York City at 68 years of age. Stanford Moore, who worked with him for years, wrote his obituary for the ‘National Academy of Sciences’.

// Famous Alumni of Columbia University

William Howard Stein awards

YearNameAward

Other

Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1972)

William Howard Stein biography timelines

  • // 25th Jun 1911
    He was born on June 25, 1911, in New York City, in a Jewish family to Fred Michael Stein and his wife Beatrice Cecilla (Borg) as their second child among three.
  • // 1926 To 1927
    He attended the ‘Lincoln School of Teachers College’ of ‘Columbia University’, a private co-educational university laboratory school in New York City from 1926 to 1927. The ideas and methods of the school were considered to be most progressive of that time.
  • // 1929
    Thereafter he joined ‘Phillips Exeter Academy’, a co-educational independent school, in Exeter, New Hampshire and studied there till 1929. He was inspired to take up fundamental science or medicine by his parents.
  • // 1933
    He then joined ‘Harvard University’ from where he completed BS in Chemistry in 1933.
  • // 1935
    In 1935 he completed MS in Chemistry from ‘Columbia University’.
  • // 1938
    He then earned PhD in 1938 from ‘Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons’, New York City, submitting a thesis on the amino acid analysis of elastin, a highly elastic protein.
  • // 1938
    After completing his PhD he was inducted at the ‘Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research’ as a researcher in 1938 under renowned Jewish-German biochemist Max Bergmann. Here he had the opportunity to be associated with an outstanding group of researchers including Moore, Klaus Hofmann, Emil L. Smith and Joseph S. Fruton among others. It is at the Rockefeller that he conducted most of his significant research works.
  • // 1942
    He and Moore were delegated to chalk out precise analytical procedures to analyse amino acid composition of proteins. However the ‘Second World War’ interrupted their work on proteins when Moore was enlisted as a technical aid in the ‘National Defense Research Council’ in Washington in 1942. Moreover during wartime the entire research group of Bergmann was engrossed to work for the ‘Office of Scientific Research and Development’.
  • // 1944
    Following the death of Bergmann in 1944, the laboratory became devoid of a chief, although the research team carried on with their work.
  • // 1952 To 1965
    In 1952 he became Professor of Biochemistry at ‘Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research’ and served the post till 1965.
  • // 1957 To 1970
    From 1957 to 1970 he remained a member of the Medical Advisory Board of ‘Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School’.
  • // 1958
    In 1958 he along with Moore developed the first automatic amino-acid analyzer that facilitated the analysis of amino acid sequences of proteins and this development also led to determine the composition of the enzyme ribonuclease.
  • // 1959
    In 1959 he along with Moore declared the first analysis of the entire amino acid sequence of ribonuclease. They also delved into examining the composition, function and association of several other proteins like pancreatic ribonuclease, ribonuclease T1, pepsin, chymotrypsin, pancreatic deoxyribonuclease and streptococcal proteinase.
  • // 1961 To 1966
    He was a member of the Council of the Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness of the ‘National Institutes of Health’ from 1961 to 1966.
  • // 1965 To 1982
    From 1965 to 1982 he remained Professor of Biochemistry at the ‘Rockefeller University’.
  • // 1968 To 1969
    During 1968-69 he served as Chairman of the U.S. National Committee for Biochemistry.
  • // 1971 To 1972
    He suffered from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare condition where the immune system of the body erringly attacks the peripheral nerves and causes damage to their myelin insulation. This condition resulted in his paralysis around 1971 thus limiting his scientific research career thereafter. His winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1972 made him the first quadriplegic Nobel Laureate.
  • // 1980
    The physical disorder made him wheelchair bound and the last stage of his life saw him visiting office occasionally till 1980.
  • // 2nd Feb 1980
    On February 2, 1980, he succumbed to heart attack in New York City at 68 years of age. Stanford Moore, who worked with him for years, wrote his obituary for the ‘National Academy of Sciences’.

// Famous Scientists

William Howard Stein's FAQ

  • What is William Howard Stein birthday?

    William Howard Stein was born at 1911-06-25

  • When was William Howard Stein died?

    William Howard Stein was died at 1980-02-02

  • Where was William Howard Stein died?

    William Howard Stein was died in New York City, US

  • Which age was William Howard Stein died?

    William Howard Stein was died at age 68

  • Where is William Howard Stein's birth place?

    William Howard Stein was born in New York City, US

  • What is William Howard Stein nationalities?

    William Howard Stein's nationalities is American

  • Who is William Howard Stein spouses?

    William Howard Stein's spouses is Phoebe Hockstader

  • Who is William Howard Stein childrens?

    William Howard Stein's childrens is David F. Stein, Jr., Robert J. Stein, William H. Stein

  • What was William Howard Stein universities?

    William Howard Stein studied at Columbia University,Harvard University, Harvard University, Columbia University

  • What was William Howard Stein notable alumnis?

    William Howard Stein's notable alumnis is Columbia University, Harvard University

  • Who is William Howard Stein's father?

    William Howard Stein's father is Fred Michael Stein

  • Who is William Howard Stein's mother?

    William Howard Stein's mother is Beatrice Cecilla (Borg)

  • What is William Howard Stein's sun sign?

    William Howard Stein is Cancer

  • How famous is William Howard Stein?

    William Howard Stein is famouse as Biochemist