Hsien Wu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wu.
Wu Hsien
Born (1893-11-24)24 November 1893
Fuzhou, Fujian, China
Died 8 August 1959(1959-08-08) (aged 65)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Nationality Republic of China
Fields Protein science

Hsien Wu (simplified Chinese: 吴宪; traditional Chinese: 吳憲; pinyin: Wú Xiàn; 24 November 1893 – 8 August 1959) was a Chinese protein scientist. He was the first to propose that protein denaturation was a purely conformational change, i.e., corresponded to protein unfolding and not to some chemical alteration of the protein.[1] This crucial idea was popularized later by Linus Pauling and Alfred Mirsky.[2]

Wu was born in Fuzhou, Fujian, China. He studied at MIT (undergraduate), and then trained at Harvard University (graduate) under Otto Folin, developing the first assay for blood sugar (Folin-Wu method). Wu then returned to China to a position at Peking Union Medical College, becoming head of the biochemistry department in 1924 at age 30.

Wu left China in 1947 to reside in the United States.

Wu's son, Ray J. Wu, became the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Molecular Genetics and Biology at Cornell University, and was active in studying transgenic plants, particularly rice.


  1. ^ Wu, H (1931). "Studies on Denaturation of Proteins. XIII. A Theory of Denaturation". Chinese Journal of Physiology. 5: 321–344.  Preliminary reports were presented before the XIIIth International Congress of Physiology at Boston (19–24 August 1929) and in the October 1929 issue of the American Journal of Physiology.
  2. ^ Mirsky, AE; Pauling L (1936). "On the Structure of Native, Denatured, and Coagulated Proteins". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 22 (7): 439–447. doi:10.1073/pnas.22.7.439. 

Further reading[edit]