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Dr. Carothers began his academic career as a faculty member of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1924. He moved to Harvard University in 1926, and then came to DuPont to work on polymers in 1928. In April 1930, Carothers' team discovered neoprene , a synthetic rubber, and synthesized the first polyester superpolymer, the precursor to nylon. Carothers, thought to suffer from manic-depression committed suicide in 1937.