Donald Dexter Van Slyke
The Foundation is proud to carry the name of one of the fathers of clinical chemistry, Donald Dexter Van Slyke. Born on March 29, 1883, Donald Dexter Van Slyke grew up in Pike, NY.
Dr. Van Slyke played a vital role in returning chemistry to medicine. He had over 250 publications covering such areas as protein, amino acid and ammonia metabolism; renal function and its pathology; gas and electrolyte equilibria in blood; the transport of blood gases; lipid metabolism; enzyme action; respiratory physiology; and clinical investigation of disease states such diabetes, pneumonia, nephritis and rheumatic fever. These papers had a profound effect on the approach and treatment of these and many more metabolic disease states.
After receiving his PhD in 1907 with studies in Organic Chemistry, Dr. Van Slyke worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. For the next seven years, he worked on applying chemistry to problems in physiology and medicine. Then he accepted a position of Chemist to the Hospital of the Institute, a post he held with progressive distinction until he retired at 65 years of age in 1948. He next became involved with the Brookhaven National Laboratory where his work continued on radioisotopes, their analysis and use and additional studies on amino acid biochemistry and metabolism.
Dr. Van Slyke was also a great teacher and leader in his field. A constant stream of scientists from all over the world came to his laboratory for training earning Dr. Van Slyke the nickname of "The Chief". Almost 400 papers, books and monographs, numerous lectures and the record of performance of the more than 100 workers who have been trained with him, attest to his eminence as an educator and mentor. He had honorary elections to numerous scientific societies, many honorary degrees and more than 15 awards and medals including the National Medal of Honor from President Johnson in 1965.
Donald Dexter Van Slyke, PhD died May 4, 1971. He was the best of men and a great scientist.