William D. Salmon


William D. Salmon, a native of Kentucky, was a nutritionist in Auburn University’s Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences who was active in both applied and basic research programs. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky and his graduate degrees from the University of Missouri before joining the Auburn faculty in 1922, where he served as a faculty member for 43 years and twice served as head of the AU Department of Animal Husbandry (now Animal Sciences).

He published more than 85 articles in scientific journals during his tenure as a researcher and made major contributions to the basic areas of nutrition and biochemistry. He made huge strides in the treatment of pellagra, a disease that caused skin, intestinal, and nervous system disorders. Salmon isolated vitamin G, which is a key nutrient needed to avoid pellagra, and his work helped lead to the passage of legislation in Alabama that required the vitamin enrichment of cornmeal, flour, and grits to avoid pellagra.

Salmon also studied the irradiation of food for food safety, discovered that a zinc deficiency was the cause of parakeritosis in swine, and determined the role of choline in human and livestock health with regard to tumor development. He also was one of the first researchers to develop a dry dog food and he established one of the factors of the B vitamin complex role in the development of cataracts.

He was selected Man of the Year in Alabama Agriculture in 1960 and in 1964 was named one of 85 University of Kentucky Distinguished Alumni during the institution’s Centennial Celebration. He was also selected as a fellow in the American Institute of Nutrition in 1962, an organization he joined as a charter member in 1933.

Salmon belonged to a variety of professional organizations, including the American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Animal Science, American Society of Biological Chemists, and the American Chemical Society.