The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1964
Born: 21 January 1912, Neisse (now Nysa), Germany (now Poland)
Died: 15 October 2000, Burlington, MA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism."
Prize share: 1/2
Cholesterol is an important component in the body's cells and plays a major role in several biochemical processes. Konrad Bloch and Feodor Lynen and their respective colleagues investigated how cholesterol and fatty acids are formed and converted in the body. Among other things, they showed that acetic acid is an important component in cholesterol and how the formation occurs in reactions with many steps. This knowledge is important for an understanding of heart disease and other illnesses in which changes in cholesterol formation can play a role.
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.