A dedicated educator and exacting biochemist, Hubert Scott Loring taught biochemistry and served as an undergraduate advisor throughout his 37-year Stanford career, while leading an active research program focused on poliomyelitis virus purification and RNA characterization. The Loring group’s 1946 isolation of the Lansing strain of poliovirus led to a polio vaccine in rats, a precursor to the human vaccine.
Professor Loring was born in British Honduras – now Belize – in 1908. He came to the United States for undergraduate study, graduating from Pomona College in 1929. He went on to study biochemistry under soon-to-be Nobelist Vincent du Vigneaud at the University of Illinois (MS 1930), focusing on the chemistry of cystine and cysteine. He moved with du Vigneaud to George Washington University, where he completed his doctoral thesis in the chemistry of glutathione (PhD 1933). Professor Loring worked with another soon-to-be Nobel winner, W. M. Stanley on the cryatallization and characterization of tobacco mosaic virus before joining the Stanford faculty in 1939 to teach biochemistry, which was then a division within the Chemistry Department. He advanced from assistant to associate professor in 1942, then full professor in 1947. He retired to emeritus status in 1974.