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Vincent du Vigneaud

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Vincent du Vigneaud (18th May, 1901 - December 11, 1978) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1955 "for his work on biochemically important sulphur compounds, especially for the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone".

Vincent du Vigneaud was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of inventor and machine designer Alfred J. du Vigneaud and his wife, Mary Theresa. He studied under C.S. Marvel at The University of Illinois, where he took his B.Sc. degree in 1923 and M.Sc. in 1924. In 1925 he was invited by J.R. Murlin to join the Department of Vital Economics of the Philadelphia General Hospital and in 1927 he submitted a thesis on "The Sulfur in Insulin" to the School of Medicine of Rochester University which earned him the Ph.D.

As a Fellow of the National Research Council he worked with J.J. Abel at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, where he continued his studies on insulin. A second fellowship enabled him to travel abroad, and work with George Barger, a pioneer in the peptide field, at Edinburgh University and with Charles R. Harington at London University College Hospital.[1] [2]

On his return to America, du Vigneaud joined the Physiological Chemical Staff at The University of Illinois, and in 1932 he became Head of the Biochemistry Department at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He moved to The Cornell University Medical College as Head of the Biochemistry Department in 1938.

His research centred on sulphur-containing compounds of biochemical importance, being concerned originally with the sulphur of insulin, and then with two hormones of the posterior pituitary gland, oxytocin and vasopressin.[3][4][5]


  1. VINCENT DU VIGNEAUD. 1901—1978. A Biographical Memoir by. KLAUS HOFMANN
  2. Nobel biography
  3. Du Vigneaud V et al. (1953) The sequence of amino acids in oxytocin, with a proposal for the structure of oxytocin J Biol Chem 205(2):949-57 PMID 13129273
  4. Turner RA, Pierce JG, du VigneaudV (1951) The purification and the amino acid content of vasopressin preparations J Biol Chem 191:21-8 PMID 14850440
  5. du Vigneaud V (1954) Hormones of the posterior pituitary gland: oxytocin and vasopressin Harvey Lect 50:1-26 PMID 13306033