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Philip Handler
Born August 13, 1917(1917-08-13)
Died December 1981
(aged 64)
Citizenship United States
Ethnicity United States
Fields Biochemistry
Institutions Duke University
Alma mater City College of New York University of Illinois

Philip Handler (August 13, 1917 – December 1981) was an American Nutritionist and President of the United States National Academy of Sciences for 2 terms from 1969 to 1981. He was also a recipient of the National Medal of Science.

Biography

Handler received his B.S. degree from the City College of New York in 1936 and his Ph.D. from University of Illinois in 1939. He taught at Duke University until 1969 at which point he accepted the position of president of the National Academy of Sciences.

As a biochemist, he published more than 200 papers on nutrition and metabolic activity. He received the National Medal of Science for, "his outstanding contribution to biochemical research, resulting in significant contributions to mankind, including research which led to a clearer understanding of pellagra" (Bioscience Article). His research led to the first understanding of nicotinic acid deficiency, and the discovery of the tryptophan-nicotinic acid relationship. Handler also provided an understanding of the oxidation of sarcosine to glycine and formaldehyde which led to the importance of single carbon atoms in metabolism. His final work showed that methionine is the only methyl donor in mammalian metabolism, and that there is no pool of methyl groups.

As President of the National Academy Of Sciences, Handler was instrumental in opening a dialog on US-Soviet cooperation in outer space with his counterpart at the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1970. These discussions would ultimately lead to a joint US-Soviet spaceflight in 1975, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project[1].

References

  1. ^ Ezell, Edward Clinton; Ezell, Linda Neuman (1978). "The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project". NASA History Series (NASA) (NASA Special Publication-4209). http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4209/prolog.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-17.  
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