Thressa Stadtman

Last updated
Thressa Stadtman
Thressa Stadtman in her lab, ca. 1970s
Thressa Campbell

(1920-02-12)February 12, 1920 [1]
DiedDecember 11, 2016(2016-12-11) (aged 96)
Alma mater
Known for
Spouse(s) Earl Reece Stadtman
Scientific career
  • Biochemistry

Thressa Campbell Stadtman (February 12, 1920 – December 11, 2016) was an American biochemist, notable for her discovery of selenocysteine, [2] and her research on selenoproteins and bioenergetics. In addition she made significant advances in amino acid metabolism, enzymes dependent on vitamin B12, and the biochemistry of microbes. [3]



Drs Thressa and Earl Stadtman Drs. Earl and Thressa Stadtman (30819776834).png
Drs Thressa and Earl Stadtman

In 1920, she was born in Sterling, New York. In 1940, she graduated from Cornell University, with a B.S. in Microbiology, and in 1942, with a M.S. in Microbiology and Nutrition. In 1949, she graduated from University of California, Berkeley, with a Ph.D. in Microbial Biochemistry. Her thesis was titled "Studies on Methane Fermentations".

She was married to Earl Reece Stadtman whom she met when they were both graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley. [4] They were both hired by what was then the National Heart Institute in 1950 becoming the first husband-and-wife team at the National Institutes of Health. [4] They both oversaw their own biochemistry labs and collaborated closely. In 2005, they were both honored by the NIH with an exhibit titled "The Stadtman Way: A Tale of Two Biochemists at NIH." [5]

Over a 60-year period, starting in 1943, she published 212 peer-reviewed papers. [6]

Stadtman was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1981. [7]

Stadtman died in December 2016 at the age of 96. [8]

Related Research Articles

Selenocysteine chemical compound

Selenocysteine is the 21st proteinogenic amino acid.

Joseph L. Goldstein scientist

Joseph Leonard Goldstein ForMemRS is an American biochemist. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985, along with fellow University of Texas Southwestern researcher, Michael Brown, for their studies regarding cholesterol. They discovered that human cells have low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors that remove cholesterol from the blood and that when LDL receptors are not present in sufficient numbers, individuals develop hypercholesterolemia and become at risk for cholesterol related diseases, notably coronary heart disease. Their studies led to the development of statin drugs.

Mesaconic acid chemical compound

Mesaconic acid is one of several isomeric carboxylic acids obtained from citric acid. It is a colorless solid.

Howard Kapner Schachman was a graduate school professor in the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

JoAnne Stubbe is an American chemist best known for her work on ribonucleotide reductases, for which she was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2009. In 2017, she retired as a Professor of Chemistry and Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Horace Albert "Nook" Barker was an American biochemist and microbiologist who studied the operation of biological and chemical processes in plants, humans and other animals, including using radioactive tracers to determine the role enzymes play in synthesizing sucrose. He was recognized with the National Medal of Science for his role in identifying an active form of Vitamin B12.

Earl Reece Stadtman was an American biochemist, notable for his research of enzymes and anaerobic bacteria. Stadtman received the National Medal of Science from President Jimmy Carter in 1979 "for seminal contributions to understanding of the energy metabolism of anaerobic bacteria and for elucidation of major mechanisms whereby the rates of metabolic processes are finely matched to the requirements of the living cell." Stadtman was chief of the Laboratory of Biochemistry at the National Heart Institute. Stadtman was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. The Washington Post called Stadtman a "revered biochemist." He was the husband of Thressa Stadtman, who discovered selenocysteine.

Lynne E. Maquat American biochemist

Lynne Elizabeth Maquat, is an American biochemist and molecular biologist whose research focuses on the cellular mechanisms of human disease. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the National Academy of Sciences and of the National Academy of Medicine. She currently holds the J. Lowell Orbison Endowed Chair and is Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics and of Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Professor Maquat is also Founding Director of the Center for RNA Biology and Founding Chair of Graduate Women in Science at the University of Rochester.

Mary Jane Osborn was an American biochemist and microbiologist known for her research on the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide, a key component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, and discovering the mechanism of action of the anti-cancer drug methotrexate. She headed the Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics at the University of Connecticut Health Center and served as president of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

Judith Klinman American chemist

Judith P. Klinman is an American chemist, biochemist, and molecular biologist known for her work on enzyme catalysis. In 2012, she was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama.

Susan Taylor is an American biochemist who is a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and a Professor of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego. She is known for her research on protein kinases, particularly protein kinase A. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine and the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1996.

Ines Mandl Austrian-born American biochemist

Ines Mandl was an Austrian-born American biochemist who was awarded the Garvan-Olin Medal in 1983 for her work on the enzyme collagenase. She was a professor at Columbia University.

Martha Vaughan biochemist

Martha Vaughan was an American biochemist at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. She holds the title of emeritus scientist in the Laboratory of Metabolic Regulation and previously served as chief of NHLBI’s Laboratory of Cellular Metabolism. At the NIH, much of her work has focused on cell signaling, cellular regulation, lipid metabolism, and the identification of key proteins associated with cholera toxin and pertussis toxin. Vaughan first came to the NIH in the agency’s fledgling National Heart Institute, now NHLBI, and with the title of senior assistant surgeon worked on protein synthesis in the Building 3 laboratory of biochemist and public scientist Christian B. Anfinsen, Ph.D., who went on to share the 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Nancy Kleckner is the Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Biology at Harvard University.

Marjorie Janice Groothuis Horning is an American biochemist and pharmacologist. She is considered one of the pioneers of chromatography for her work in developing new techniques and applying them to the study of drug metabolism. She demonstrated that drugs and their metabolites can be transferred from a pregnant woman to her developing child, and later through breast milk, from a mother to a baby. Horning's work made possible the prevention of birth defects, as doctors began to warn of the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and smoking during pregnancy.

Louis Michael Staudt is a scientist at the National Cancer Institute, where he is co-chief of the Lymphoid Malignancies Branch and the director of the Center for Cancer Genomics.

Dr. Herbert Weissbach is an American biochemist/molecular biologist.

Karla Kirkegaard is the Violetta L. Horton Research Professor of genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She was the chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology from 2006 to 2010. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Her research focuses on virology.

Luciano Marraffini American Microbiologist

Luciano Marraffini is an Argentinian-American microbiologist. He is currently professor and head of the laboratory of bacteriology at The Rockefeller University.. He is recognized for his work on CRISPR-Cas systems, being one of the first scientists to elucidate how these systems work at the molecular level.


  1. "Curriculum Vitae- Thressa Campbell Stadtman" (PDF). Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  2. Stadtman, Thressa C. (March 8, 1974). "Selenium Biochemistry". Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 183 (4128): 916–922. Bibcode:1974Sci...183..915S. doi:10.1126/science.183.4128.915. PMID   4605100.
  3. Bowman, John (1995). The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography (first ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN   978-0521402583.
  4. 1 2 Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb (January 13, 2008). "Earl R. Stadtman, 88; Revered Biochemist, Mentor at NIH". Washington Post.
  5. "The Stadtman Way: A Tale of Two Biochemists at NIH".
  6. "CV" (PDF).
  7. Rossiter, Margaret W. (2012). Women Scientists in America: Forging a New World Since 1972. Women Scientists in America. 3. Johns Hopkins University Press (published February 21, 2012). p. 257. ISBN   978-1421403632.
  8., National Academy of Sciences -. "Thressa Stadtman".