Somewhere In The Rainbow: Nobel Prize-Winning Chemist William S. Knowles

June 1, 1917  –  June 13, 2012

Back in the mid-1960s, while The Rolling Stones belted out “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” Dr. William S. Knowles was on the verge of a medical breakthrough — so big — that it would bring millions of people with Parkinson’s disease enormous satisfaction!  At that time, it was known that the drug  L-Dopa could help lessen the tremors associated with Parkinson’s. But for decades, production of L-Dopa was complex and costly because the molecular composition of L-Dopa is almost indistinguishable from the toxic D-Dopa.  Dr. Knowles eventually devised the first practical lab technique for making the L form and avoiding the undesired D-Dopa form.  According to his daughter, William S. Knowles died at his home in Chesterfield, Missouri.  He had complications from Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 95. Knowles’ body was cremated. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. June 30 at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in suburban St. Louis. R.I.P.


About Robyn Michele Levy

I am an artist, writer, radio broadcaster, performer, mother, breast cancer survivor. I also have Parkinson's disease. My memoir, Most of Me, is available at local and on-line bookstores.
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