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​Jordan Francis Grade 11 Chemistry Student 

For grade 11 Chemistry students were asked to explore one aspect of Chemistry that interested them and create a podcast available to the general public.  Jordan Francis speaks about Percy Lavon Julian.  Below is his description of his work: 


My topic is on the African-American chemist Percy Lavon Julian, who successfully synthesized the drug physostigmine from the Calabar bean, which is now used to treat the ocular disease glaucoma. His research also included creating and synthesizing on a large scale the hormones estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, paving the way for modern hormone treatments and the creation of steroids. I will be focusing on his story intertwined with his chemical accomplishments, as he overcame incredible adversity throughout his life to become a shining example of black excellence. More specifically, I will give an introduction of his early life growing up in Alabama in the early 1900’s, his time spent at universities, and the incredible research and development he accomplished to synthesize these compounds. My thesis is to show a human side of an incredible chemist, and dive into the science behind his findings, how he synthesized that chemical using the limited equipment available to him.

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