Professor Conrad was a long-time faculty member of the Department of Biochemistry. He was an undergraduate at LSU, and then moved to Purdue University to conduct his PhD research. After positions at Mead Johnson & Company and the U.S. Army Medical Nutrition Laboratory, Dr. Conrad moved to Urbana ,where in 1962 he began as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1968 and then to the rank of Professor in 1972. In 1989, he was named a Jubilee Professor of Biochemistry.
Dr. Conrad built his career around biochemical studies of heparin, other polysaccharides, and carbohydrates in general. While through the decades many scientists focused on the study of proteins, Dr. Conrad's work on carbohydrates was decades ahead of its time - the complexity of carbohydrates, and their role in virtually every field of medicine and disease, have become clear. Based on the emerging recognition of this importance, in 1989 Dr. Conrad was recruited by Glycomed, which named him Director of Biochemistry. After four years at Glycomed, he returned to Urbana-Champaign and in 1994 was honored by students and friends with a symposium as tribute to his many scientific achievements and to his career of mentoring students and scientists.