James B. Sumner, American biochemist

James B. Sumner, American biochemist

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Caption: Professor James Batcheller Sumner (1887-1955), American biochemist. Sumner lost the lower part of his left arm in a hunting accident at the age of 17. He specialised in chemistry at Harvard University and studied for a PhD in biochemistry under Professor Otto Folin at the Harvard Medical School. Folin advised Sumner to become a lawyer as he didn't believe a biochemist could succeed with only one arm, but Sumner persevered and in 1926 was appointed as a professor of biochemistry at the Cornell Medical School, New York. There he was to become the first to isolate an enzyme (urease) in pure crystalline form, work for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1946.

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