Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Hans Adolf Krebs

Sir Hans Adolf Krebs was born on Aug. 25, 1900, in Hildesheim, an ancient town of some 50 000 in habitants located near Hanover, in North Germany. He was the son of Dr. Georg Krebs, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon, and his wife Alma Davidson.

Krebs was educated at the Gymnasium Andreanum at Hildesheim and between the years 1918 and 1923 he studied medicine at the Universities of Göttingen, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, and Berlin.

After one year at the Third Medical Clinic of the University of Berlin he took, in 1925, his M.D. degree at the University of Hamburg. Following his medical education, Dr. Krebs spent an additional year studying chemistry in Berlin. In 1926, he was appointed assistant to Professor Otto Warburg at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology.

In June 1933, the National Socialist Government terminated his appointment. By that time, in collaboration with his research student Kurt Henseleit, he had published the details of the first cyclic metabolic pathway to be discovered, the urea cycle.

Later he went, at the invitation of Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, to the School of Biochemistry, Cambridge, where he held a Rockefeller Studentship until 1934, when he was appointed Demonstrator of Biochemistry in the University of Cambridge.

The following year Dr. Krebs was appointed as lecturer in pharmacology at the University of Sheffield where he quickly moved up the ranks and became lecturer-in-charge of the Department of Biochemistry in 1938. It was there, in collaboration with William Johnson, that he resolved the sequence of reactions that they called the citric acid cycle.

Krebs served on the faculty of the University of Oxford from 1954 to 1967. He wrote (with the British biochemist Hans Kornberg) Energy Transformations in Living Matter (1957), which discusses the complex chemical processes which provide living organisms with high-energy phosphate by way of what is known as the Krebs or citric acid cycle. He also coauthored (with Anne Martin) Reminiscences and Reflections in 1981.

In 1953 he received Nobel Prize (with Fritz Lipmann) the for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery in living organisms of the series of chemical reactions known as the tricarboxylic acid cycle (or the citric acid cycle, or Krebs cycle). Hans Krebs died on November 22, 1981.
Hans Adolf Krebs

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