Roger John Williams

Williams, Roger John, 1893–1988, American chemist, b. India, grad. Univ. of Redlands, Redlands, Calif. (B.S., 1914), Ph.D. Univ. of Chicago, 1919; brother of the chemist Robert R. Williams, Jr. He taught chemistry at the Univ. of Oregon (1920–32) and at Oregon State College (now Oregon State Univ., 1932–39) and became professor at the Univ. of Texas in 1939 and also director of the Biochemical Institute of Texas in 1941. He is noted for his work on the vitamin B complex and especially for his discovery of pantothenic acid. He is the author of several textbooks on organic chemistry and biochemistry and is a pioneer in biochemical investigations of alcoholism. In 1970 he announced that ordinary commercial white bread was so nutritionally deficient that, in an experiment he conducted, a number of laboratory rats given a steady diet of it died of malnutrition after three months.

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