Heilbron, Ian Morris (1886-1959) a Scottish chemist, conducted important research on vitamins A and D. He also studied steroids and penicillin and helped develop the insecticide DDT.
Heilbron was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and educated at the Royal Technical College in Glasgow. He received a doctorate from the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1909. He then returned to Glasgow as a lecturer at the Royal Technical College. He became professor of organic chemistry there in 1919. Heilbron and Elda Marguerite Davis married in 1924. The couple had two sons.
Heilbron served as professor of organic chemistry at Liverpool University in England from 1920 to 1933, at the University of Manchester in England from 1933 to 1935, and at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London from 1938 to 1949. He was professor of chemistry at Manchester from 1935 to 1938. During World War II (1939-1945), Heilbron also served as scientific adviser to the Department of Scientific Research in the British Ministry of Supply and in a similar position for the Ministry of Production.
Heilbron was director of the Brewing Industry Research Foundation from 1949 to 1958. From 1958 to 1959, he was a member of the advisory council on scientific research and technological development for the Ministry of Supply.
Heilbron pioneered investigations of vitamins A and D, which are needed for the growth of bones and teeth and the proper functioning of the eyes. He also conducted research on chemical compounds called steroids and on the antibacterial drug penicillin. In addition, Heilbron helped develop the insecticide DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-irichloroethane).
Heilbron's many honors and awards include election to the Royal Society in 1931. He received the society's Davey Medal in 1943 and its Royal Medal in 1951. In 1946, he was knighted and also received the Priestly Medal of the American Chemical Society.