Luis F. Leloir
Born: 6 September 1906, Paris, France
Died: 2 December 1987, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Affiliation at the time of the award: Institute for Biochemical Research, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Prize motivation: "for his discovery of sugar nucleotides and their role in the biosynthesis of carbohydrates"
Prize share: 1/1
Carbohydrates, including sugars and starches, are of paramount importance to the life processes of organisms. Luis Leloir demonstrated that nucleotides - molecules that also constitute the building blocks of DNA molecules - are crucial when carbohydrates are generated and converted. In 1949 Luis Leloir discovered that one type of sugar's conversion to another depends on a molecule that consists of a nucleotide and a type of sugar. He later showed that the generation of carbohydrates is not an inversion of metabolism, as had been assumed previously, but processes with other steps.