reviews Julian's early education—which occurred at a time when
black children in Alabama
were not allowed to study past the eighth grade—and recalls how Julian
found a way to earn a 10th-grade education and enter DePauw
University in Indiana in 1916.
recounts the challenges Julian faced to earn his undergraduate degree and
graduate first in his class and later earn his master's degree from Harvard
University in 1923.
follows Julian's bid for a Ph.D. at the University of Vienna in Austria,
where he sought to isolate the active ingredient in Corydalis cava and
identify its chemical structure.
reports on the young scientist's move back to Howard University in 1931,
where university politics and scandal led to his resignation and his return to
DePauw to work as a research fellow.
documents Julian's efforts to revive his career by taking on one of the
world's leading organic chemists in a race to synthesize the alkaloid
identifies the continuing racial obstacles the brilliant chemist faced in
his pursuit for employment before being hired by the
Glidden Company, where he began researching the soybean.
profiles Julian's work to synthesize the steroid progesterone from
plants after his accidental discovery of a method to isolate steroids from
details the path Julian took to try to synthesize Compound S, a
steroid that would become a key factor in making cortisone available to
millions of sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.
follows Julian as he leaves Glidden to form his own company, Julian
Laboratories, which would produce steroid intermediates—compounds just
one step short of a finished product.
presents the obstacles Julian had to overcome to make his business
reports on the role Julian played in the fight for racial equality.