Konrad E. Bloch

Harvard University

January 21, 1912 - October 15, 2000


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

Biochemist Konrad Bloch received a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1964 for his research on the synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. Using radioactive isotopes of carbon and hydrogen in acetic acid, he traced the formation of cholesterol within the body revealing that it is an important structural component of all body cells. These findings contributed to the understanding of the body’s regulation of cholesterol levels and cholesterol’s role in disease.

Bloch received his BS degree in chemical engineering from the Technische Hochschule in Munich in 1934. He moved to Switzerland that same year when Hitler came to power. He immigrated to the United States in 1936 and earned his PhD from Columbia University in 1938. He taught there until 1946, when he was offered at job at the University of Chicago as an assistant professor of biochemistry. After a year as a Guggenheim fellow at the Institute of Organic Chemistry in Switzerland, he returned to the United States in 1954 as Higgins Professor of Biochemistry at Harvard University, a position he held until 1982.

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