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Chapter 29 : Marjory Stephenson: An Early Voice for Bacterial Biochemical Experimenters

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Abstract:

Marjory Stephenson was a biochemist who studied microbial metabolism from the 1920s through the 1940s at Cambridge University. She received a strong education in the sciences while attending Newnham College, affiliated with Cambridge. After service in World War I as a Red Cross dietitian, she joined the Biochemistry Institute at Cambridge, overseen by Sir F. G. Howland, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who supported many promising young scientists regardless of gender or origin. There she established a program studying the biochemistry of bacteria, especially anaerobes. Her research included naming and characterizing hydrogenase and formate hydrogen lyase enzyme complexes in . She also studied the regulation of adaptive enzymes in bacteria, and her work was an early influence on Jacques Monod and his own studies on regulation of gene expression. Stephenson wrote three editions of an influential textbook on bacterial metabolism, renowned for its rigor and clarity. She was a founder of the Society for General Microbiology (now the Microbiology Society), served as its second president, and now has a biennial lecture/prize named in her honor. Finally, in 1945 Stephenson was one of the first two women (along with crystallographer Kathleen Lonsdale) elected into the Royal Society of London. Stephenson mentored several successful microbial physiologists, had a lively and critical intellect, and was fondly remembered by many who worked with her.

Citation: Zinder S. 2018. Marjory Stephenson: An Early Voice for Bacterial Biochemical Experimenters, p 257-267. In Whitaker R, Barton H (ed), Women in Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819545.ch29
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References

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