Joseph B. Koepfli (b. 1904) was research associate in chemistry at Caltech from 1932 to 1971. His field of study was organic
chemistry, principally alkaloids and other physiologically active substances such as adrenalin and insulin. He was trained
in pharmacology and during World War II worked on developing antimalarial drugs. Koepfli's papers document a portion of his
chemical research as well as his role as a science adviser to the U.S. State Department.
Joseph Blake Koepfli was born February 5, 1904, in Los Angeles. His father, Joseph Otto Koepfli (b. 1866), was a prominent
businessman and lawyer in Los Angeles. The family was of Swiss extraction on the father's side, and Norwegian on the mother's,
and consequently they spent much time traveling in Europe in the years between Joseph's birth and World War I. Joseph and
his sister Hortense were privately educated. Eventually Joseph was sent to the Harvard School in Los Angeles. He then attended
Stanford University, where he majored in chemistry (BA 1924, MA 1925). In 1925 he enrolled at Oxford and subsequently received
his PhD in chemistry there in 1928.
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