The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1964
Born: 6 April 1911, Munich, Germany
Died: 6 August 1979, Munich, Germany
Affiliation at the time of the award: Max-Planck-Institut für Zellchemie, Munich, Federal Republic of Germany
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. Feodor Lynen and Konrad Bloch 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.