Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1929
Born: 20 June 1861, Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Died: 16 May 1947, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for his discovery of the growth-stimulating vitamins."
Prize share: 1/2
Work on Electron Diffraction
People and animals need basic nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats to live and function properly. However, when Frederick Hopkins began looking into the issue, there were several indications that we also need other substances. When he fed young rats only pure nutrients, their growth stopped, but all it took was a small amount of milk for them to start growing again. The conclusion reported around 1910 was that these unknown substances are necessary in small amounts for life processes. The substances came to be known as vitamins.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.