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Yellapragada SubbaRow

biochemist
Born: 1/12/1895
Birthplace: Bhimavaram, India

The young Yellapragada SubbaRow flunked out of two high schools in India until the death of his father caused him to buckle down to his studies. He studied math, physics, and chemistry before being accepted to Madras Medical College, where he became interested in medical research. The deaths of two brothers from tropical diseases led him to narrow his field of concentration, and in 1923 he came to the U.S. and entered the Harvard School of Tropical Medicine. Since his Indian medical degree was not accepted in the United States, he earned money by working as a night porter at a Boston hospital. Afterwards at the Biochemistry department of Harvard Medical School, he co-discovered phosphocreatine and ATP with Cyrus Fiske besides devising the colorimetric method for phosphorus estimation known as the Fiske-SubbaRow Method. Joining Lederle Laboratories in 1940, he directed the research that led to the synthesis of folic acid, discovery of tetracycline the first broad-spectrum antibiotic, methotrexate the anticancer drug and diethylcarbamazine the anti-filarial drug. He died in August 1948.

Died: 1948

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