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Hans Adolf Krebs


1953 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Hans Adolf Krebs (*1900 – †1981) received the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the citric acid cycle.



Hans Adolf Krebs, son of a Jewish ear, nose, and throat doctor in Hildesheim, studied Medicine in Göttingen, Freiburg, Berlin, and Munich. He earned his doctorate in Hamburg in 1924 and worked as assistant to Otto Warburg (Nobel laureate 1931) at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Biology in Berlin from 1926 to 1930.

In 1930 Krebs returned to clinical work, first in Hamburg-Altona and starting in 1931 at the Freiburg University Medical Center under Siegfried Thannhauser. In 1932 he completed his habilitation.

In 1933 Krebs was dismissed due to his Jewish ancestry and went to the University of Cambridge in England on a Rockefeller Scholarship. The further stations of his scientific career were the universities of Sheffield and Oxford. In 1939 Krebs became a British citizen.

In 1958 Krebs was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and received the title Sir. Krebs was one of the few German-Jewish scholars who were able to continue their careers without interruption after banishment from Nazi Germany.

Together with Fritz Albert Lippmann, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1953.

Krebs’ research dealt mainly with various aspects of cell metabolism. The citric acid cycle in cell metabolism is also called the Krebs cycle in his honor.

Krebs received honorary degrees from numerous universities, including Chicago, Paris, Berlin, and Jerusalem. In 1955 he was named honorary doctor of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Freiburg. (Source: University of Freiburg)