Sunday, August 25, 2013
Sir Hans Adolph Krebs
With the election of Adolph Hitler and the rise of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party in 1933 Krebs was dismissed from his position because of his Jewish heritage. After his dismissal Krebs emigrated to England where he took a position at Cambridge University sponsored by a Rockefeller Foundation Studentship grant. In 1935 he was appointed as a lecturer in pharmacology at Sheffield University and in 1938 he was made lecturer-in-charge of Sheffield University's newly founded department of biochemistry. In 1945 the appointment was raised to a professorship and he took charge of the Medical Research Council's research unit established at the university. In 1954 he was appointed as the Whitley Professor of Biochemistry at Oxford University.
Krebs' major research accomplishment was elucidating the citric acid cycle (also called the Krebs cycle or the tri-carboxcylic acid cycle.) The citric acid cycle, which takes place in the mitochondrial matrix (inside the mitochondrial inner membrane) in eukaryotes and in the cytosol of prokaryotes, is a cyclic reaction cycle that produces reduced equivalents that are used to produce cellular energy. It is the final set of reactions of cellular metabolism by which organisms break down carbohydrates producing energy and releasing carbon dioxide (for a video showing the series of reactions by which carbohydrates are broken down, highlighting the citric acid cycle, to make cellular energy see here). For his discovery of the citric acid cycle Krebs shared the 1953 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine with Fritz Lipmann.
Other honors won by Krebs include a knighthood in 1958 and election as a honorary fellow of Girton College, Cambridge University in 1979.
Krebs died on November 22, 1981.
Stubbs, Marion and Gibbons, Geoff; "Hans Adolph Krebs (1900-1981)...His Life and Times"; IUBMB Life (2000)50:163-166
Hans Krebs Nobel Biography
Hans Adolph Krebs Wikipedia Entry