Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

September 16, 1893 - October 22, 1986


Election Year: 1956
Scientific Discipline: Biochemistry
Membership Type: Member

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi won the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the isolation of L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C, and the identification of fumaric acid in the mechanisms of the citric acid cycle. He also contributed to the development of the nascent field of biophysics, studying proteins and energy source degradation within muscle cells. Applying the theories of quantum mechanics to cancer research, he studied the correlation between free radicals and cancer growth.

Szent-Gyorgyi studied at Semmelweis University but left in 1914 to serve as an army medic during World War I; he returned to the university in 1917 and earned his MD. He then attended the University of Groningen, where he began his research on cellular respiration, focusing on the citric acid cycle. This work earned him a spot as a Rockefeller Fellow at Cambridge University, where he earned his PhD in 1927. He joined the faculty at the University of Szeged in 1930. He established the Institute for Muscle Research at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole in 1947 and in 1948 he earned a research position studying cancer at the National Institutes of Health.

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