Sunday, December 10, 2017

WOMEN IN STEM: Maud Menten

Maud Menten (1879-1960) was a Canadian biochemist and organic chemist. During her career, her primary research focused on enzymes. In 1990, Menten attended the University of Toronto and later after receiving a bachelor’s and master’s degree, she began her work at the Rockefeller University in New York. There, she studied cancerous tumours and more specifically the use of radium bromide as treatment for tumours. After this, Menten went back to Toronto to pursue post-graduate studies in medicine. Menten eventually became one of the first Canadian-born women to earn a medical degree, which she earned in 1911. Menten’s main contribution during her career was research on enzyme kinetics along with biochemist Leonor Michaelis where they developed the Michaelis-Menten hypothesis. Their hypothesis explained the speed/rate of a reaction through the relationship between enzymes and their substrates. Years later, Menten held a position at the University of Pittsburgh as a professor in pathology. Other areas of her research included the mobility of proteins in electric fields, the discovery of a dye reaction to identify alkaline phosphatase which act as indicators of renal and liver function, glycogen, and nucleic acids in bone marrow.

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