Famous German Biochemists

Germany as a nation has contributed immensely to science and technology and some German biochemists have performed groundbreaking work in the field. In fact it was a German, Carl Alexander Neuberg, who is often referred to as the "father of modern biochemistry". He discovered the carboxylase and gave the elucidation of alcoholic fermentation which paved the way for further research in the field. Another pioneering German, Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne performed vital research on vision and the chemical changes occurring in the retina under the influence of light. While Karl Meyer worked on connective tissue and determined the properties of hyaluronan in the 1930s, Fritz Albert Lipmann became the co-discoverer of coenzyme A in the 1940s which earned him a share of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1953. Another German Nobel laureate, Konrad Emil Bloch, made significant discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous German biochemists.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Hans Adolf Krebs

Hans Adolf Krebs.
5
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: August 25, 1900
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hildesheim, Germany
Died: November 22, 1981

Born to an ENT surgeon in Germany, Hans Adolf Krebs followed in his father’s footsteps and studied medicine. After fleeing Nazi Germany, he went to England, where he joined the University of Cambridge as a researcher. The Nobel Prize-winning scientist is remembered for his groundbreaking discovery of cellular respiration.

 2 Johanna Budwig

Johanna Budwig.
3
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: September 30, 1908
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Germany
Died: May 19, 2003

German biochemist and pharmacist Johanna Budwig is best remembered for her anti-cancer diet known as the Budwig diet. Her extensive research on fatty acids helped her create the diet that consists of flaxseed oil, cottage cheese, and low-fat milk. However, there’s no scientific evidence that proves the effectiveness of the diet.

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 3 Gerhard Domagk

Gerhard Domagk.
3
Famous As: Biochemist, Physician, University teacher
Birthdate: October 30, 1895
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Łagów
Died: April 24, 1964

Nobel Prize-winning German pathologist and bacteriologist Gerhard Domagk is best remembered for his pathbreaking discovery of Prontosil, the first sulfonamide antibiotic. The Nazis, however, didn’t allow him to accept the Nobel Prize immediately and detained him briefly instead. He had also served as a soldier in World War I.

 4 Thomas C. Südhof

Thomas C. Südhof.
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: December 22, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Göttingen, Germany

German-American neuroscientist Thomas C. Südhof was a gifted musician in his early days, having mastered instruments such as the bassoon. He later won a Nobel Prize for his research on the chemical signaling in neurons, which helped later scientists understand neurological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.

 5 Richard Kuhn

Richard Kuhn.
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: December 3, 1900
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died: August 1, 1967

Richard Kuhn was an Austrian-German biochemist whose work on vitamins and carotenoids earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938. Over the course of his illustrious career, Richard Kuhn also won several other prestigious awards, such as the Wilhelm Exner Medal in 1952 and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art in 1961.

 6 Adolf Butenandt

Adolf Butenandt
2
Famous As: Biochemist, Chemist, Politician, University teacher
Birthdate: March 24, 1903
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bremerhaven
Died: January 18, 1995

 7 Albrecht Kossel

Albrecht Kossel.
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: September 16, 1853
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rostock, Germany
Died: July 5, 1927

Albrecht Kossel was a German biochemist whose work in ascertaining nucleic acids' chemical composition earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1910. Kossel is also remembered for conducting prominent research into protein's composition. His work influenced several other important researchers like Henry Drysdale Dakin, Edwin B. Hart, Friedrich Miescher, and Felix Hoppe-Seyler.

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 8 Rudolf Jaenisch

Rudolf Jaenisch
2
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: April 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Międzygórze, Poland

 9 Ernst Boris Chain

Ernst Boris Chain.
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: June 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 12, 1979

Born to a chemist father in Berlin, Ernst Boris Chain moved to the U.K. amid the rise of the Nazis. The Nobel Prize-winning biochemist later worked at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. He is best remembered for isolating and purifying penicillin, along with Howard Walter Florey.

 10 Fritz Albert Lipmann

Fritz Albert Lipmann
2
Famous As: American-German biochemist
Birthdate: June 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Königsberg
Died: July 24, 1986

German-American biochemist Fritz Albert Lipmann is best known for identifying Coenzyme A in 1946 and also for giving it its name. Lipmann and others later determined its structure. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1953, which he shared with Hans Adolf Krebs, for his discovery of Co-enzyme A and its significance for intermediary metabolism.

 11 Robert Huber

Robert Huber.
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: February 20, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Munich, Germany

 12 Otto Fritz Meyerhof

Otto Fritz Meyerhof.
1
Famous As: Physician and Biochemist
Birthdate: April 12, 1884
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hanover
Died: October 6, 1951

Otto Fritz Meyerhof was a German physician and biochemist. He studied medicine in Strasbourg and Heidelberg and later became a professor at the University of Kiel. He jointly won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine with Archibald Vivian Hill in 1922. He became one of the directors of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research in 1929. 

 13 Konrad Emil Bloch

Konrad Emil Bloch.
1
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: January 21, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Neisse (Nysa), Silesia, Prussia, German Empire
Died: October 15, 2000

German American biochemist Konrad Emil Bloch, who served as Higgins Professor of Biochemistry at Harvard University for nearly three decades, is best-remembered for his collaboration with German biochemist Feodor Lynen leading to discoveries relating to mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. This led them to jointly win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1964.

 14 Heinrich Otto Wieland

Heinrich Otto Wieland.
1
Famous As: Father of Biochemistry
Birthdate: June 4, 1877
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pforzheim
Died: August 5, 1957

Heinrich Otto Wieland was a German chemist known for his research into bile acids, for which he won the 1927 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He studied under prominent chemist and professor Johannes Thiele at the University of Munich. He had a brilliant academic career and worked actively to protect Jewish students after the passage of the Nuremberg Laws.

 15 Hartmut Michel

Hartmut Michel.
1
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: July 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg, Germany

 16 Johann Deisenhofer

Johann Deisenhofer.
1
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: September 30, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Zusamaltheim, Bavaria, Germany

 17 Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat

Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat
0
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: July 29, 1910
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: April 10, 1999

German-American biochemist Heinz Ludwig Fraenkel-Conrat, who remained part of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, for over four decades, is best-remembered for his research on the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and the holmes ribgrass virus (HRV). He worked with Robley Williams and demonstrated that it is possible to create a functional virus from purified RNA and a protein coat.

 18 Adolf Windaus

Adolf Windaus
0
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: December 25, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: June 9, 1959

 19 Feodor Felix Konrad Lynen

Feodor Felix Konrad Lynen.
0
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: April 6, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: August 6, 1979

 20 Rudolf Schoenheimer

Rudolf Schoenheimer
0
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: May 10, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 11, 1941

Rudolf Schoenheimer was a German-American biochemist known for developing the technique of isotope labeling. He studied at the Friedrich Wilhelm University and went on to become Head of Physiological Chemistry at the University of Freiburg. He suffered from manic depression all his life and died by suicide in 1941, at the prime of his career.