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Albert Baird Hastings Papers 1858-1987 (bulk 1920-1987)
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Biography

Biographical Note

A. Baird Hastings (1895-1987) was born on Dayton, KY, and raised in Indianapolis, IN. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1971 with a degree in physical chemistry, and received a Ph.D. in physiology in 1921 from Columbia University. Often referred to as the "physician's chemist," Hastings was an active researcher and teacher in the areas of blood acid-balance and its transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide, effects of ions and hormones on intermediary metabolism, and acid-base balances in carbohydrate metabolism.

Hastings joined the U.S. Public Health Service in 1917 as an Assistant Sanitary Chemist working at Columbia University, studying the chemistry of fatigue for the military. He then joined the Rockefeller Institute in 1921, after receiving his Ph.D., as an assistant to Dr. Donald D. Van Slyke who had been directing his research at Columbia. From 1921-1926, he worked with Van Slyke on the physical chemistry of hemoglobin, acid-base balance, and gas-electrolyte equilibria in blood. He spent the years 1926-1935 as research professor of biochemistry at the University of Chicago. There he extended his research of the physicochemical structure of blood to tissues. It was also during this time that he developed his interests in acid-base metabolism. From 1935-1959, Hastings was Hamilton Kuhn Professor and head of the department of biological chemistry at Harvard Medical School. He retired from Harvard in 1959 in order to return to full time laboratory research at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, CA.

Hastings served on several advisory committees throughout his career including: several at the National Institutes of Health; the Committee on Medical Research, Office of Scientific Research and Development (1941-1946); the Atomic Energy Commission (1947-1957); the National Academy of Sciences; the Nutrition Foundation. He also served on the 1971 White House Conference on Aging. He received honorary degrees from the University of Michigan and from Harvard, Oxford, Boston, St. Louis and Columbia universities. His awards include the President's Medal for Merit (1948), Banting Medal of the American Diabetes Association (1962) and a USPHS citation for service for his lifetime contributions (1917-1964).