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Leslie Hellerman was born in Hammond, Indiana. He attended the University of Chicago, receiving his B.S. in 1917 and his Ph.D. in 1923. In the early 1930s, he discovered the influence of certain functional groups that are essential for enzymatic activity and later demonstrated that particular enzyme-catalyzed reactions require the presence of specific metal ions. This discovery led to the modern concept of metallo-enzyme functions. Hellerman joined the faculty in the department of physiological chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1927. He was given professor emeritus status in 1961, after which time he continued to work with graduate students and edit journals for almost 15 years.

Scope and Content

The Leslie Hellerman Collection covers the latter part of his career at Johns Hopkins. It consists of personal correspondence, professional correspondence with individuals and with external institutions, research notes, subject files, reference cards, lecture notes, manuscripts, grant applications, and glass slides. Much of the correspondence relates to chemotherapy for cancer patients. There are also several folders of correspondence and articles for the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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