Login to RACcess

William H. Stein papers, Rockefeller University Faculty (FA127)

Biographical/Historical Note

William Stein, whose work focused on the relationships between the chemical structures of proteins with their biological functions, was born in New York City in 1911. He was educated at Exeter Academy and Harvard University, graduating with a B.S. degree in 1933. It was while he was pursuing his doctoral studies at Columbia University that he first became associated with The Rockefeller University, then known as the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. He began as a volunteer in the laboratory of chemist Max Bergmann. After he graduated from Columbia in 1938, he was employed as an assistant in Bergmann's laboratory. In 1952, Dr. Stein became a member of the Institute and then later a Professor at the University. Although stricken with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in 1969, he continued to do his research up to the time of his death in 1980.

Over the years, Dr. Stein worked with colleagues to develop chromatographic procedures for the separation and quantitative determination of amino acids. These procedures proved very valuable by facilitating the analysis of amino acids as well as other substances found in such biological fluids as blood plasma, tissue extracts, and urine. Dr. Stein collaborated extensively with his fellow Rockefeller colleague, Dr. Stanford Moore. In 1959, for the first time, Drs. Stein and Moore succeeded to decipher the complete chemical structure of ribonuclease. Together, they developed special scientific instrumentation related to their research, including automatic amino acid analyzers and automatic fraction collectors. These types of equipment later became commercially available and widely used.

In 1972, Drs. Stein and Moore were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for investigations on the structure and activity of ribonuclease. They also shared a number of other awards. In 1964, they received the Electrophoresis and Chromatography Award from the American Chemical Society in recognition of the analytical methods they developed. That organization also presented them with the Theodore William Richard Medal in 1972 for their contributions to protein chemistry.

Dr. Stein frequently contributed to numerous scientific periodicals. He was chairman of the editorial committee of the American Society of Biological Chemists (1958-1961) and the editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (1968-1971). Dr. Stein was active in a number of scientific societies. In 1960 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A dedicated teacher, William Stein delivered, along with colleagues Lyman Craig and Stanford Moore, a lecture entitled "On Separating Things" at the Rockefeller Institute in 1961. This lecture series was repeated in Boston in 1962. The lectures, which focused on the techniques of physical and chemical separations on which much of modern biological science rests, were given to a specially selected group of high school students. At various points in his career, Dr. Stein was a Harvey Lecturer, a Phillips Lecturer at Haverford College, and an American-Swiss Foundation Fellow and Lecturer.

Your List is empty! Click on the icon that looks like this bookbag icon next to one or more items in your Search Results to add it to your list.
I agree to pay the duplication costs for this request. See our fee schedule.

Please select a format.

Please enter a description of the materials you want reproduced.

If you intend to publish this material, check this box
Please enter any special requests or questions for RAC staff.
Enter any notes about this request for your personal reference here.
Good to know: If you want a cost estimate for your order, email an archivist at archive@rockarch.org. Folders in the same box may be grouped together in a single request.

Your request has been sent to RACcess!

You must be logged into RACcess in order for your request to be submitted. Click here to see your requests.

Your List is empty! Click on the icon that looks like this bookbag icon next to one or more items in your Search Results to add it to your list.

There's nothing to email!

Please enter a valid email.

We're sorry, but there was a problem sending your e-mail.

Please try again, or contact us at archive@rockarch.org.

Your List is empty! Click on the icon that looks like this bookbag icon next to one or more items in your Search Results to add it to your list.

There's nothing to print!

Your List is empty! Click on the icon that looks like this bookbag icon next to one or more items in your Search Results to add it to your list.
Please enter the date of your research visit.
Please enter any special requests or questions for RAC staff.
Enter any notes about this request for your personal reference here.
Good to know: Folders in the same box may be grouped together in a single request.

Your request has been sent to RACcess!

You must be logged into RACcess in order for your request to be submitted. Click here to view your requests.

Your List is empty! Click on the icon that looks like this bookbag icon next to one or more items in your Search Results to add it to your list.
Please enter any special requests or questions for RAC staff.
Enter any notes about this request for your personal reference here.
Good to know: Folders in the same box may be grouped together in a single request.

Your request has been sent to RACcess!

You must be logged into RACcess in order for your request to be submitted. Click here to view your requests.

These digital collections are presented for purposes of education and research. We have described the current copyright status to the best of our knowledge. Upon request from potential rights owners, we will remove material from public view while we address any outstanding rights issues.

Our finding aids and library records are licensed under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) dedication. This means that you can copy, modify and distribute our descriptive metadata in any way you want without asking us for permission. The CC0 license is explained in full on the Creative Commons website. If you have questions about this data please contact us.

This license includes

  • Finding aids, which describe aggregations of unique archival material.
  • Library records, which describe individual books, DVDs, microfilm reels and other mass-produced items.
  • In either case, both the HTML representation of this data as well as the underlying EAD XML are released under a CC0 license.

This license does not include

  • Any images, documents or other digital content linked to this description.

What can you do with our description

Anything! Please use this data for your own research or projects. We would love to be surprised by what you create with this data. If you build or discover something interesting, let us know.

However, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Give attribution to Rockefeller Archive Center: although you are not legally required to do so, attribution will help other people find the original data as well as unique archival materials.
  • Contribute back any modifications or improvements: help us make our description better!
  • Do not mislead others or misrepresent the finding aids or their sources: please don’t use this data in a way that suggests you have any official status or that we endorse you or your use of the metadata.
  • Be responsible: conform to laws and other regulations in your jurisdiction, especially concerning defamation and copyright.
  • Be aware that you use the data at your own risk: Our description is provided 'as-is': not all of it has been reviewed for completeness or accuracy. That process is ongoing, and we welcome your assistance in drawing our attention to any particularly egregious omissions or inaccuracies.