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*The birth of Herbert C. Scurlock in 1875 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black biochemist who pioneered the application of radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer and the use of x-ray to diagnose dental problems.
Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, he was graduated from Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, with an A.B. in 1895. He earned a medical degree from Howard University in 1900 and a master of arts from Columbia University in 1915. From 1900 to 1905, Dr. Scurlock served as an assistant in chemistry and a lecturer in X-ray and electrotherapy at Howard University’s College of Medicine. He then temporarily took charge of chemistry and physics at Howard’s College of Liberal Arts before returning to the College of Medicine as a full professor and head of the department of physiological chemistry.
Dr. Scurlock was a member of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of the District of Columbia and served as its president in 1916. He was also a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Medical Association.
His textbook Quantitative Chemical Analysis, published in 1915, is available at the Library of Congress. He was a professor of physiological chemistry. Herbert Scurlock died in 1952.
National Academy of Science