24 Facts About Mildred Cohn


Mildred Cohn was an American biochemist who furthered understanding of biochemical processes through her study of chemical reactions within animal cells.


Mildred Cohn was a pioneer in the use of nuclear magnetic resonance for studying enzyme reactions, particularly reactions of adenosine triphosphate.


Mildred Cohn received the nation's highest science award, the National Medal of Science, in 1982, and was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.


Mildred Cohn was born July 12,1913, in the Bronx, where her family lived in an apartment.


When Mildred Cohn was 13, her father moved the family to a Yiddish-speaking cooperative, Heim Gesellschaft, which strongly emphasized education, the arts, social justice, and the preservation of Yiddish culture.


Mildred Cohn went on to attend Hunter College, which was both free and open to all qualified women, irrespective of race, religion or ethnic background.


Mildred Cohn managed to afford a single year at Columbia University, but was ineligible for an assistantship because she was a woman.


Mildred Cohn subsequently returned to Columbia, studying under Harold Urey, who had just won the Nobel Prize.


Originally, Mildred Cohn was working to study the different isotopes of carbon.


Mildred Cohn went on to write her dissertation on oxygen isotopes and earned her PhD in physical chemistry in 1938.


Mildred Cohn pioneered the use of isotopic tracers to examine the metabolism of sulfur-containing compounds.


Mildred Cohn was able to obtain a research position with Carl and Gerty Cori in their biochemistry laboratory in the university's School of Medicine.


Mildred Cohn used nuclear magnetic resonance to investigate the reaction of phosphorus with ATP, revealing considerable information about the biochemistry of ATP, including the structure of ATP, oxidative phosphorylation and role of divalent ions in the enzymatic conversion of ATP and ADP.


Mildred Cohn elucidated how the divalent metal ions are involved in the enzymatic reactions of ADP and ATP by studying NMR spectra of the phosphorus nuclei and the structural change in the presence of various divalent ions.


Mildred Cohn was appointed as an associate professor of Biophysics and Physical Biochemistry, and became a full professor the following year.


Mildred Cohn was elected to the American Philosophical Society the following year.


In 1984, Mildred Cohn received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.


Mildred Cohn wrote 160 papers, mostly on her primary research subject of using nuclear magnetic resonance to study ATP.


Mildred Cohn won the American Chemical Society's Garvan-Olin Medal in 1963.


Mildred Cohn was awarded the Franklin Institute's Elliott Cresson Medal in 1975, for her work on nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of enzymatic complexes.


Mildred Cohn received the International Organization of Women Biochemists Award in 1979.


Mildred Cohn was presented with the National Medal of Science by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 for 'pioneering the use of stable isotopic tracers and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the study of the mechanisms of enzymatic catalysis'.


Mildred Cohn was the first woman to become president of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, then called the American Society of Biological Chemists, and the first female career investigator for the American Heart Association.


Mildred Cohn was married to physicist Henry Primakoff from 1938 until his death in 1983.