The University of Wisconsin’s role in the discovery of vitamins will be the topic of the next Winchester Academy.
Dr. David Nelson, professor of biochemistry at UW-Madison, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, UW moved to the forefront of a scientific revolution in agriculture and nutrition. Two scientists, Stephen Babcock and E.B. Hart, who had both been raised on farms prior to going into research, developed methods for analyzing the nutritional value of dairy products and the grains being fed to dairy herds.
During the first three decades of the 20th century, their work led to the discovery of Vitamin A and the Vitamin B complex, the relationship between sunlight and Vitamin D, and methods for treating nutritional anemia.
Nelson will review the significance of these scientific advances in the light of modern knowledge of nutrition.
Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from St. Olaf University in 1964 and a doctoral degree in biochemistry from Stanford Medical School. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, where he conducted research on the genetics and biochemistry of ion transport in E. coli. He came to UW-Madison in 1971 and became a full professor in 1982.
In addition to his ongoing research, Nelson has taught biochemistry to graduate and undergraduate students. He is also co-author of a textbook, Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, and more than 40 peer-reviewed research papers.
The Winchester Academy program is free and preceded by refreshments and conversation at 6 p.m.