William Knowles

Facts

William S. Knowles

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

William S. Knowles

Born: 1 June 1917, Taunton, MA, USA

Died: 13 June 2012, Chesterfield, MO, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: , St. Louis, MO, USA

Prize motivation: "for their work on chirally catalysed hydrogenation reactions."

Prize share: 1/4

Work

Many molecules appear in two different reversed forms that have different chemical and biological effects. Through special catalysts - substances that facilitate chemical reactions without being consumed in them - it is possible to bring about a process in which only one of the reversed forms is produced. In 1968 William Knowles discovered that certain metals had this effect during hydrogenation - reactions in which hydrogen gas is added to a chemical compound. Among other things, this enabled production of L-dopa medication to treat Parkinson's disease.

To cite this section
MLA style: William S. Knowles – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2018. Mon. 12 Nov 2018. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2001/knowles/facts/>

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