Born: 23 July 1906, Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary (now Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Died: 7 January 1998, Zurich, Switzerland
Affiliation at the time of the award: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Zurich, Switzerland
Prize motivation: "for his research into the stereochemistry of organic molecules and reactions."
Prize share: 1/2
Nature is full of organic substances - chemical compounds that contain the element carbon and that can be transformed in a multitude of different chemical reactions. At the end of the 1940s, Vladimir Prelog began researching the connection between the structures of organic molecules and how they react. His studies included ring-shaped molecules of medium size and how reactions can arise when different parts of the molecule come in contact with one another. He also studied substances that occur in two different reversed forms and how they react.