Vincent du Vigneaud (May 18, 1901 – December 11, 1978) was an American biochemist. He won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1955. For the isolation, structural identification and total synthesis of the cyclic peptide oxytocin.
Vigneaud graduated from Schurz High School
in 1918. He started studying chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
. He was influenced by lectures of Carl Shipp Marvel
. After receiving his M.S. in 1924 he joined DuPont
but restarted his academic career by joining the group of John R. Murlin
at the University of Rochester
for a Ph.D thesis in 1925. He married Zella Zon Ford June 12 1924
. He graduated in 1927 with his work The Sulfur in Insulin
. After several Post-doc positions with John Jacob Abel
at Johns Hopkins University
Medical School, Max Bergmann
at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Leather Research
and others he became professor at the University of Illinois
He went to George Washington University
Medical School in Washington, D.C.
in 1932 and to Cornell Medical College
in New York City
in 1938 where he stayed until his emeritation in 1967. From 1967 on he held a position at Cornell University Ithaca, New York
. In 1974 he suffered from a stroke which ended his academic career. One year after his wife's death, he passed away.
His career was characterized by an interest in sulfur, proteins, and, espicially, peptides. Even before his famous work on elucidating and synthesizing oxytocin
, he had established a reputation for work on insulin, biotin, transmethylation, and penicillin. He also began a series of structure-activity relationships for oxytocin and vasopressin, perhaps the first for peptides.
He joined Alpha Chi Sigma
while at the University of Illinois