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Konrad Emil Bloch

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Konrad Emil Bloch
Konrad Bloch.JPG
Bloch in 1965
Born21 January 1912 [1]
Died15 October 2000
NationalityGerman-American
Alma materTechnische Universität München
Known forDiscoveries with the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism

Konrad Emil Bloch ForMemRS (21 January 1912 – 15 October 2000) was a German American biochemist.

Bloch won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1964 with Feodor Lynen "for their discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism".[1]

Life[change | change source]

He was born on 21 January 1912 in Nysa, Prussian Silesia, German Empire (today Poland). He studied at the Technical University in Munich from 1930 to 1934. He fled to the Schweizerische Forschungsinstitut in Davos, Switzerland in 1934 because of the Nazi persecutions of Jews. He then moved to the United States in 1936. While in the United States, he joined the department of biological chemistry at Yale Medical School.

He earned his Ph.D in biochemistry from Columbia University in 1938. He taught at Columbia University from 1939 to 1946. After that, he went to the University of Chicago and then Harvard University in 1954. He worked there until 1982. He then retired to Florida State University.

In 1964, Bloch won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine which he shared with Feodor Lynen. They won the prize "for their discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism". The work that they did showed that the body first makes squalene from acetate over many steps and then converts the squalene to cholesterol.

Bloch traced the carbon atoms in cholesterol back to acetate. Some of the research that he did was conducted using radioactive acetate in bread mold and this was possible because fungi also produce squalene. The results were confirmed after he tested it on rats.

He was one of the researchers who showed that all steroids were made from cholesterol.[2] His Nobel Lecture was The Biological Synthesis of Cholesterol.[3]

In 1985, Bloch was named as a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1988.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Konrad Bloch - Facts". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  2. "Konrad Bloch - Biographical". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  3. "Nobel Lecture: The Biological Synthesis of Cholesterol". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  4. "The President's National Medal of Science: Recipient Details". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 2014-06-30.