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E.V. McCollum Professorship and Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

MccollumElmerA giant in the field of nutritional science, ELMER VERNER McCOLLUM (pictured) was credited by his peers as the greatest single contributor to the improvement of human health through nutrition. The first chairman of the School of Public Health’s Biochemistry Department, Dr. McCollum was the first to use rats in nutritional experimentation. He discovered vitamin A in 1913 and co-discovered vitamin D in 1921. These findings helped him demonstrate the relationship between nutritional deficiencies and clinical symptoms of disease. As a result of his work, childhood rickets, caused by a vitamin D deficiency, quickly disappeared in America. His dedication to research and teaching was equaled by his commitment to improving public awareness of the benefits of good nutrition. He helped bring about profound changes in the American diet by contributing regular columns on nutrition to McCall’s magazine between 1922 and 1946.