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KUHN Richard

( Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1938)

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Biography KUHN Richard
Kuhn, RICHARD (Kuhn, Richard), (1900-1967) (Germany). Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1938.
Richard Kuhn was a rare example of a comprehensive gifted person. He was a footballer and was part of the core team 'Austria', played the violin in the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, a perfect master of 6 European languages and in Hindi and Japanese could read.

Born December 3, 1900 in a suburb of Vienna in the family of an engineer Hofrata Richard Clemens Kuhn and elementary school teacher Angelica Rodler. First he was engaged in teaching the mother, and when he was 9 years old, he entered the gymnasium DцTbling, where one of his classmates was Wolfgang Pauli (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1945). Family friend Professor of Chemistry, Ernst Ludwig early to instill an appreciation of its chemistry, which led to his health-Department of Chemistry, University of Vienna, and gave his textbook. After graduating from high school in 1917, Kuhn was called up for military service and served until November 1918.

Already on the fourth day after the demobilization Kuhn entered the University of Vienna, however, having studied three semesters, transferred to the University of Munich. There he studied chemistry under Nobel laureate R. Willstatter and in 1922 received his doctorate for a thesis "On the specific role of enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism". Kuhn continued his studies at the University of Munich until 1926 had not received an invitation to go to work at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich

. In 1929, resigned from the institute and head of the Chemistry Department has recently established at the University of Heidelberg Institute for Medical Research of the Kaiser Wilhelm (1950 - Max Planck Institute), . while occupying the university as professor of chemistry,

In 1930 P. Karrer (Nobel Prize 1937) and Otto (Sigmund) Rosenheim (1871-1955) found in carotene, two isomers: alpha-carotene, which rejects the plane of polarized light beam, and beta-carotene, which the world does not reject.

Kong under the influence Willstatter since 1930 and began studying carotenoids. He started with the synthesis performed in 1929 difenilpolienov, similar in physical properties of carotenes. He defined the challenge: ': I, . becoming a professor in Zurich, . chose the theme of research questions of theoretical organic chemistry, . namely, . synthesis of compounds, . which contain a large number of simple and double regularly arranged carbon-carbon bonds, . to study the color of such substances (polyenes), depending on the number of double bonds',

Two years later, Kuhn added to the alpha-and beta-carotene third isomer - gamma-carotene and found the structure of all three isomers.

He found that the carotenoids are provitamin A, ie. necessary for its production of biological systems. In addition, found that the liver can produce two molecules of vitamin A - or from one molecule of beta-carotene, or from two molecules of alpha-carotene. He and his staff, using chromatography, many carotenoids found in organisms of different plants and animals.

He then drew attention to the water-soluble B-group vitamins. Working together with Albert von Szent-GyцTrgyi Nadyarapolt (1893-1986) (Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, . 1937) and Julius Wagner-Jauregg (1857-1940) (Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, . 1927), . He singled out about one gram of yellow pigment lactochrome of thousands of liters of milk,
. Determined the structure of lyumiflavina, product decay lactochrome, Kuhn could, therefore, to know the chemical composition of the lactochrome and finally synthesize (1935), both compounds. By showing that lactochrome (now known as riboflavin or vitamin B2) plays a crucial role in the activities of respiratory enzymes, Kuhn thus made a significant step in understanding the functions of vitamins in living systems.

In 1937 he became director of the Institute and remained in office until the end of its activities.

In 1938, highlighted in the crystalline state adermin, now called vitamin B6, and installed its structure. He did this in a highly competitive, because at the same time with four other research groups have the same result. In 1939, Kuhn synthesized adermin (along with a group of American researchers).

Overall, Kun synthesized more than 300 plant pigments, as well as many other natural substances.

Kuhn began to nominate for the Nobel Prize in 1931, in 1938 it was awarded to him 'for his work on carotenoids and vitamin', but the Nazi government forbade him to accept the award. The ban was due to the fact that the award of 1936 Nobel Peace Prize to the anti-fascists Carl von Ossietzky (1889-1938) has infuriated Hitler. Nobel medal and diploma Kun was able to get at a ceremony in Stockholm in 1949, only.

Continuing research, Kuhn identified para-aminobenzoic acid, which is used for the synthesis of anesthetic agents and pantothenic acid, which is essential for the biosynthesis of hemoglobin. Having taken in 1950 as professor of biochemistry at the Medical Faculty of the Max Planck Institute, he has focused on the study of substances that contribute to human body resist infection. His research on influenza viruses, cholera, and Colorado potato beetle larvae have made some contribution to understanding the molecular mechanism of resistance.

As a professional scientist, Kuhn characterized the accuracy and persistence in. These qualities are complemented by its inherent creativity, developed sense of intuition. He was interested in the practical application of the results, especially in agriculture and medicine. In this regard, it is compared with such scientists as Louis Pasteur and A. Virtanen (Nobel Prize, 1945), which sought to combine academic research with practical needs.

Amateur tennis, chess and billiards, Kuhn was a talented violinist and occasionally performed in a chamber ensemble consisting. All his life collecting Kun Violin.

Died July 31, 1967 in Heidelberg.

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