The Department of Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan Medical School has played a prominent role in the development of the subject of biochemistry. The department dates from the appointment in the early 1900s of Dr. Victor Vaughan as the first professor of biochemistry in a medical school in the United States. Dr. Vaughan was an early member of the National Academy of Sciences and a founder of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Two graduates of the Department, Stanley Cohen, who discovered epidermal growth factor, and Marshall Nirenberg, who cracked the genetic code, are Nobel Laureates. Many other graduates are leaders in academia or industry.

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