The invitation of the Editorial Committee to write a prefatory chapter deeply affirms my long commitment to biochemistry. I feel honored to be the first woman, I trust the first in a long succession, to be so chosen. My preoccupations with the intermediary metabolism of amino acids and proteins began in 1937 when research laboratories in this country were occupied with the chemistry of amino acids and with nutritional studies. Major contributions were being made on the functional role of vitamins in nutrition and in elucidation of the chemical structure of vitamins. In the field of sterols, activity was reflected in major contributions to the nature of vitamin D and to the structure and action of the estrogenic hormones. Not until I became thoroughly immersed in research on amino acid metabolism did I catch up with the biochemical developments in European and English laboratories emerging from the elucidation of the function of vitamins as cofactors in enzymatic catalysis, thus stimulating and making possible the pursuit of in vitro approaches to oxidative metabolism that was soon to follow.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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