Vincent du Vigneaud

Banquet speech

Vincent du Vigneaud’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1955

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I wish to express to you my deep appreciation for the honor that you have bestowed upon me by the Nobel Award. This honor is without question the most signal honor that could come to a chemist. I am deeply grateful to the Nobel Foundation and the Royal Swedish Academy of Science for the recognition, as expressed in the terms of the citation, of the “work on biochemically important sulfur compounds, especially the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone”. This hormone, oxytocin, the principal uterine-contracting and milk-ejecting hormone of the posterior pituitary gland, is a sulfur-containing compound, and its synthesis was the culmination of many experiences along a trail of research stemming from my original interest in sulfur and in insulin. It was truly a trail of “sulfur research”.

I have had the privilege and the thrill of following this trail of research in the company of a group of graduate students and postdoctoral associates, without whose loyal and effective collaboration the advances along this trail could not have come to pass, and in the acceptance of this high honor, I wish to make due acknowledgment to this splendid collaboration.

Finally, allow me again to thank you, not only for the award, but for your gracious hospitality to both Mrs. Du Vigneaud and myself. We are very happy to be here.

From Les Prix Nobel en 1955, Editor Göran Liljestrand, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1956


Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1955

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