Florence E. Moog (1915 - 1987)

Florence E. Moog

Biologist Florence E. Moog, born in 1915, earned her undergraduate degree from New York University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. She taught biology at the University of Delaware prior to joining the faculty of Washington University as a research associate in zoology in 1942. Moog’s 1948 article, “The Biology of Old Age,” which appeared in the June 1948 issue of Scientific American, won the Westinghouse prize for distinguished science writing in magazines.

In the 1950s Moog concentrated her research on an enzyme found in the surface membrane of the intestine, and how the phosphatase affected the development of the intestinal tract. Pediatricians used her findings to study how lungs mature in embryos and premature babies. Moog’s work was considered one of several significant factors in the development of a therapy for premature infants to bring about normal lung function.

During her 42 years at Washington University, Florence Moog taught undergraduate and graduate students in the physiological and biochemical aspects of vertebrate development. In addition she developed a course on comparative anatomy and embryology for pre-medical students that became a model of its kind throughout the country. In 1981 she received the University’s Distinguished Faculty Award. Two years later Moog was honored with the establishment of an endowed scholarship in her name.

Moog retired as professor emeritus of biology in 1983. She died in December 1987 from complications of a stroke.

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