This person won a Nobel Prize

Konrad Emil Bloch

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Konrad Emil Bloch
Konrad Bloch.JPG
Bloch in 1965
Born

(1912-01-21)January 21, 1912

[1]
Neisse, Prussian Silesia, German Empire (today Poland)[1]
Died October 15, 2000(2000-10-15) (aged 88)
Burlington, Massachusetts, U.S.
Nationality German-American
Alma mater Technische Universität München
Known for Discoveries with the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism

Konrad Emil Bloch ForMemRS (January 21, 1912 – October 15, 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 January 21, 1912 in Neisse, 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 was appointed to the department of biological chemistry at Yale Medical School.

He then earned his Ph.D in biochemistry from Columbia University in 1938. He would teach at Columbia University from 1939 to 1946. After that, he went to University of Chicago and then Harvard University where he worked as the Higgins Professor of Biochemistry in 1954. He worked there until 1982. He then retired and served as the Mack and Effie Campbell Tyner Eminent Scholar Chair in the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University.

In 1964, Bloch was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology 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 many researchers that showed acetyl Coenzyme A is turned into mevalonic acid. Both Bloch and Lynen showed that mevalonic acid is converted into chemically active isoprene, the precursor to squalene. Bloch discovered that bile and a female sex hormone were made from cholesterol, which led to the discovery 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]