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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 70
CHOH HAO LI
April 21, 1913-November 28, 1987
BY R. DAVID COLE
FOR A HALF CENTURY Choh Hao Li studied peptide and protein hormones, especially those of the anterior pituitary gland and for much of that time dominated the biochemistry of the field. He was first, or among the first, to purify and determine the molecular structure of adrenocorticotropin, lutropin, follitropin, growth hormone, lipotropin, prolactin, endorphin, and melanotropin. The biological properties and clinical applications of these hormones were also extensively studied in his laboratory. Li was a pioneer in the synthesis of biologically active peptides and proteins and analogs of the natural species and accomplished the chemical synthesis of melanotropins, corticotropins, endorphins, lipotropin, and growth hormone. Since peptide and protein chemistry was in its infancy when Li began his studies, he also contributed heavily to the development of techniques and methods for protein chemists.
Recognition of Li and his work was extensive abroad, as well as in the United States. Among his ten honorary doctorates were ones from the Catholic University of Chile, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of Uppsala. Li was an honorary member or fellow in fourteen societies and academies, including ones in Argentina, the