Fruton, Joseph S. (Joseph Stewart), 1912-2007

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Joseph Stewart Fruton was born in 1912. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1931 and also earned his Ph.D. in 1934. Fruton served on the staff of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research for ten years, before coming to Yale University in 1945. In 1950 Fruton was promoted to the rank of full professor and in 1957 was named the Eugene S. Higgins Professor of Biochemistry. He was named professor emeritus in 1982. Fruton died on July 29, 2007, in New Haven, Connecticut.

From the description of Joseph Stewart Fruton papers, 1900-2007 (inclusive). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702169515

Hans Thacher Clarke studied chemistry at University College, London (1896-1905), worked for the Eastman Kodak Co. in Rochester (1914-1928), and was a professor of biological chemistry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University (1928-1956). Among other researches, he was involved in the production of penicillin in the U.S.

Hans Thacher Clarke (1887-1972) was born in Harrow, England. From 1896-1905, he attended University College London School, and went on to enter the University as a student of chemistry. There he studied under William Ramsey, J. N. Collie and Samuel Smiles. He also attended courses in physiological chemistry taught by R.H. A Plimmer and physiology with E. H. Starling, but found these studies boring at the time. After receiving his B.Sc. in 1908, Clarke continued to do research at University College under the direction of Smilesand A.W. Stewart. In 1911, he was awarded an 1851 Exhibition Scholarship which he used to spend three semesters with Emil Fischer in Berlin and one semester with A.W. Stewart at Queen's College, Belfast. On his return he was granted the D.Sc. from London University in 1913.

Clarke's father had long been associated with Eastman Kodak Company as European representative. George Eastman occasionally consulted Hans on chemical matter and, at the beginning of World War I, when the company was forced to produce photographic chemicals which they had previously imported from Germany, they turned to Hans for help. Clarke moved to Rochester, N.Y. in 1914 only to discover that he was the sole organic chemist there! The correspondence retained from these years consists largely of requests for chemicals, arrangements for visits, and reports of Clarke's consultancy work which involved scanning the chemical literature (a task which continued to occupy him for two days a week until 1969!) [Box 3, 3 files, c.60 items, 191-1963]

At the suggestion of his friend Henry D. Dakin, Clarke accepted a position offered him as Professor of Biological Chemisty at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1928. When he first took on the post he received much advice from his friend and mentor, A.W. Stewart on how to start one's own academic department (Box 7, c. 20 items, 1926-1935). While at Columbia, Clarke took a personal interest in graduate students, of whom he demanded rigorous qualifications prior to admission (a list of the PhD.s granted from 1913 to 1957, with their positions as of 1955, is in Box 2, "Biochemistry at Columbia"). As time went on, Clarke found less and less time to devote to his own research. Other responsibilities interrupted his work, including the 1953 memorial lectures for his friend Henry Dankin, and subsequent arrangements for this event at Adelphi College every year to 1965 (Box 1, Adelphia Colege, 3 files, 1957-1965).

In 1956, Clarke retired from Columbia, but continued his research and some lecturing and conducting student seminars at the Biochemical Laboratories of the Graduate School of Yale University, to which he had been invited by Joseph Fruton. This arrangement was disrupted when the Medical School needed the space Clarke was occupying in the laboratory to accommodate newly appointed members of its staff in 1964 (Box 5, Dean Vernon W. Lippard). Clarke was able to continue his research at the Children's Cancer Research Foundation Center in Boston until 1970, when ill health forced him to retire.

One of the jobs Clarke valued most was his position, in 1951-1952, as Science Attache to the American Embassy in London. His post permitted him to work closely with Sir Robert Robinson, with whom he had edited a major book on research in penicillin in 1949, after prior government service as Assistant Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development in 1944 placed him in charge of coordinating penicillin production in the U.S. (Box 4, Paul D. Foote, and Box 6, 1959-1960, concern a controversy on patenting of production methods in U.K. and U.S. which casts light on Clarke's role in the penicillin production effort).

Clarke's activities int he NAS, including records of his receipt of the King's medal in 1948 and vitae of nominees from 1942 to 1971 have been retained (Box 6). His activity as chairman of the Rochester section of the American Chemical Society (1921), of the New York section (1946) and of the Organic Chemisty Division (1924-25) as well as his work on the Committee on Professional Training, and the Garvin Award Committee, are well documented (Box 1, 6 files). Clarke was also the president of teh American Society of Biological Chemists in 1947, but the collection contains very little of interest in this regard (Box 2, 5 files, 50 items, c. 1942-1963).

Clarke's activity on grants allocation committees is well documented. As a member of teh Otological Society he served on a grants committee from 1956-1962 (Box 1, 9 files). As Chairman of the Merck Fellowship Board of the National Academy of Sciences in 1957, Clarke retained such interesting correspondence as a letter from Warren Weaver to A.N. Richards recommending the use of the Merck money for two or three research professorships at $15,000 p.a. rather than only for post-doctoral research, and a letter from Kenneth B. Raper at Wisconsin approving of this proposal which was passed on to the Merck Board in March 1957 (Box 5).

Clarke was in much demand for his talents as a lucid writer and was called on to serve as editor or referee throughout his career. He served on the editorial board of Organic Synthesis from 1921 to 1932 (Box 6, 3 files), of the Journal of Biological Chemistry from 1937 to 1951, and as associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society from 1928 to 1938 (JBC, Box 4, 8 files up to 1960, also, Box 3, Clarke's 50th Anniversary article on the Journal).

From the guide to the Hans Thacher Clarke Papers, Circa 1903-1973, (American Philosophical Society)

Joseph Stewart Fruton was born in 1912. He received a BA from Columbia University in 1931 and earned his Ph.D. from there in 1934. Fruton served on the staff of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research for ten years, before coming to Yale University in 1945. In 1950 Fruton was promoted to the rank of full professor and in 1957 was named the Eugene S. Higgins Professor of Biochemistry. He was named professor emeritus in 1982. Fruton died on July 29, 2007, in New Haven, Connecticut.

A leading scientist in the field of the biochemistry of proteins, Fruton is also a scholar of the history of medicine. His published works include General Biochemistry, Molecules and Life, A Skeptical Biochemist, A Bio-bibliography for the History of the Biomedical Sciences since 1800, and Selected Bibliography of Biographical Data for the History of Biochemistry since 1800 .

From the guide to the Joseph Stewart Fruton papers, 1900-2007, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Hans Thacher Clarke Papers, Circa 1903-1973 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Seymour S. Cohen Papers, 1938-1990 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Haurowitz mss., 1920-1985 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly
referencedIn L. C. Dunn Papers, ca. 1920-1974 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Maxine Singer Papers, 1950-2004, (bulk 1970-1995) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Robert J. T. Joy Student Notes from Yale School of Medicine, 1950-1954 Historical Library, Harvey Cushing / John Hay Whitney Medical Library
creatorOf Clark, W. Mansfield (William Mansfield), 1884-1964. Papers, 1903-1964. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Clarke, Hans Thacher, 1887-1972. Papers, ca. 1903-1973. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Cohen, Seymour S. (Seymour Stanley), 1917-. Papers, 1938-1990. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Joseph Stewart Fruton papers, 1900-2007 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Fruton, Joseph S. (Joseph Stewart), 1912-. Joseph Stewart Fruton papers, 1900-2007 (inclusive). Yale University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Chemical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Otological Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Society of Biological Chemists. corporateBody
associatedWith Clarke, Agnes Helfreich person
associatedWith Clarke, Hans Thacher, 1887-1972. person
associatedWith Clark, W. Mansfield (William Mansfield), 1884-1964. person
associatedWith Cohen, Seymour S. (Seymour Stanley), 1917- person
associatedWith Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978 person
associatedWith Dunn, L. C., (Leslie Clarence), 1893-1974 person
associatedWith Du Vigneaud, Vincent, 1901-1978 person
associatedWith Emerson, Alfred E., (Alfred Edwards), 1896-1976 person
associatedWith Gies, William John, 1872-1956 person
correspondedWith Haurowitz, Felix, 1896-1987 person
associatedWith Huxley, Julian, 1887-1975 person
associatedWith Joy, Robert J. T. person
associatedWith Long, Esmond R., (Esmond Ray), 1890- person
associatedWith Luck, James Murray, 1899- person
associatedWith Middleton, Dorothy Clarke person
associatedWith Moe, Henry Allen, 1894-1975 person
associatedWith Planck, Erwin person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Shockley, William, 1910- person
associatedWith Singer, Maxine. person
associatedWith Smiles, Samuel, 1877-1953 person
associatedWith Sperry, Warren Myron, 1900- person
associatedWith Stewart, Alfred W., (Alfred Walter), b. 1880 person
associatedWith Taylor, Geoffrey Ingram, Sir, 1886-1975 person
associatedWith Tuve, Merle Antony, 1901-1982 person
associatedWith Yale University corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. Faculty. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Biochemistry--Study and teaching
Medicine--United States
Biochemistry
Photographic chemistry
Penicillin
Clarinet
Biochemistry--United States
Occupation
Function

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Birth 1912-05-14

Death 2007-07-29

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English

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