Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from K-O

Kendall, Edward Calvin

isolated study war adrenal

(1886–1972) US biochemist: pioneer of corticosteroid biochemistry.

Kendall studied chemistry at Columbia University, New York and afterwards worked mainly at the Mayo Foundation in Rochester, MN. During the First World War he isolated from the thyroid gland a new amino acid, thyroxin. This contains iodine, and it is a component of the thyroid hormone (thyroglobulin) that partly controls the rate of the body’s metabolism. Kendall went on to study the hormones of the cortex (outer part) of the adrenal glands. In the 1930s he isolated a series of steroids from this source; one of them (Kendall’s compound E, later named cortisone) was shown by his co-worker P S Hench (1896–1965) to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. During the Second World War there was a belief that the Germans were buying adrenal glands from Argentinian slaughterhouses and using extracts from them to help their pilots fly at great heights. The rumour was false, but it led to intensified study and by 1943 no fewer than 23 corticosteroids had been isolated in the USA or in Switzerland, and Kendall and others had devised synthetic routes to make related compounds. Since then, corticosteroids have been much used to treat inflammatory, allergic and rheumatic diseases. In 1950 the Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology was shared by Kendall, Hench and T Reichstein (1897–1996), who had worked on these compounds at Zürich.

Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. [next] [back] Kelly, William Russell - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: William Russell Kelly, Social and Economic Impact

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or