Krebs, Sir Hans Adolf

born Aug. 25, 1900, Hildesheim, Ger.
died Nov. 22, 1981, Oxford, Eng.

German-born British biochemist.

He fled Nazi Germany for England in 1933, where he taught at the Universities of Sheffield and Oxford. He was the first to describe the urea cycle (1932). He and Fritz Lipmann (1899–1986) received a 1953 Nobel Prize for their discovery in living organisms of the series of chemical reactions known as the tricarboxylic acid cycle (also called the citric acid cycle or Krebs cycle), a discovery of vital importance to a basic understanding of cell metabolism and molecular biology.

* * *

▪ German-British biochemist

born Aug. 25, 1900, Hildesheim, Ger.
died Nov. 22, 1981, Oxford, Eng.

      German-born British biochemist who received (with Fritz Lipmann (Lipmann, Fritz Albert)) the 1953 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery in living organisms of the series of chemical reactions known as the tricarboxylic acid cycle (also called the citric acid cycle (tricarboxylic acid cycle), or Krebs cycle). These reactions involve the conversion—in the presence of oxygen—of substances that are formed by the breakdown of sugars, fats, and protein components to carbon dioxide, water, and energy-rich compounds.

      At the University of Freiburg (1932), Krebs discovered (with the German biochemist Kurt Henseleit) a series of chemical reactions (now known as the urea cycle) by which ammonia is converted to urea in mammalian tissue; the urea, far less toxic than ammonia, is subsequently excreted in the urine of most mammals. This cycle also serves as a major source of the amino acid arginine.

      The son of a Jewish physician, Krebs was forced in 1933 to leave Nazi Germany for England, where he continued his research at the University of Cambridge (1933–35). At Sheffield University, Yorkshire (1935–54), Krebs measured the amounts of certain four-carbon and six-carbon acids generated in pigeon liver and breast muscle when sugars are oxidized completely to yield carbon dioxide, water, and energy.

      In 1937 Krebs demonstrated the existence of a cycle of chemical reactions that combines the end-product of sugar breakdown, later shown to be an “activated” form of the two-carbon acetic acid, with the four-carbon oxaloacetic acid to form citric acid. The cycle regenerates oxaloacetic acid through a series of intermediate compounds while liberating carbon dioxide and electrons that are immediately utilized to form high-energy phosphate bonds in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP; the chemical-energy reservoir of the cell). The discovery of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, which is central to nearly all metabolic reactions and the source of two-thirds of the food-derived energy in higher organisms, was of vital importance to a basic understanding of cell metabolism and molecular biology.

      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) and also coauthored (with Anne Martin) Reminiscences and Reflections (1981). He was knighted in 1958, and the Royal Society awarded him its Copley Medal in 1961.

Additional Reading
Frederic Lawrence Holmes, Hans Krebs, 2 vol. (1991–93), provides a detailed biography.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • KREBS, SIR HANS ADOLF — (1900–1981), British biochemist and Nobel Prize winner. Krebs was born in Hildesheim, Germany, and pursued research with otto heinrich warburg at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology in Berlin for four years, subsequently working at Professor …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Krebs,Sir Hans Adolf — Krebs (krĕbz, krĕps), Sir Hans Adolf. 1900 1981. German born British biochemist who discovered the Krebs cycle (1936). He shared a 1953 Nobel Prize for investigations into metabolic processes. * * * …   Universalium

  • Krebs , Sir Hans Adolf — (1900–1981) German–British biochemist Krebs, the son of an ear, nose, and throat specialist, was born in Hildesheim, Germany, was educated at the universities of Göttingen, Freiburg, Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg, obtaining his MD in 1925. He… …   Scientists

  • Krebs, Sir Hans Adolf — (1900–81)    German British biochemist and Nobel laureate, 1953. Krebs had done important research work on amino acids and urea in his native Germany before migrating to England when HITLER rose to power. He became professor of biochemistry first …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Krebs, Sir Hans Adolf — (25 ago. 1900, Hildesheim, Alemania–22 nov. 1981, Oxford, Inglaterra). Bioquímico británico nacido en Alemania. En 1933 huyó de la Alemania nazi a Inglaterra, donde enseñó en las universidades de Sheffield y Oxford. Fue el primero en describir el …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sir Hans Adolf Krebs — noun English biochemist (born in Germany) who discovered the Krebs cycle (1900 1981) • Syn: ↑Krebs, ↑Hans Adolf Krebs • Instance Hypernyms: ↑biochemist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Hans Adolf Krebs — noun English biochemist (born in Germany) who discovered the Krebs cycle (1900 1981) • Syn: ↑Krebs, ↑Sir Hans Adolf Krebs • Instance Hypernyms: ↑biochemist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Hans Adolf Krebs — Sir Hans Adolf Krebs (* 25. August 1900 in Hildesheim; † 22. November 1981 in Oxford) war ein deutscher, später britischer Mediziner und Biochemiker. Er wirkte ab 1945 als Professor an der Universität Sheffield und erhielt für die Entdeckung des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hans Adolf Krebs — Sir Hans Adolf Krebs (Hildesheim, Alemania, 25 de agosto de 1900 Oxford, Inglaterra, 22 de noviembre de 1981) es un bioquímico alemán, ganador del Premio Nobel de Fisiología o Medicina en el año 1953. Cursó estudios de Medicina, Biología y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hans Adolf Krebs — Sir Hans Adolf Krebs(1900 1981). Nació el 25 de agosto de 1900 en Hildesheim, Alemania. Cursa estudios de Medicina, Biología y Química en la universidad de Gotinga. Friburgo de Brisgovia, Múnich y Berlín; en esta última trabaja con Otto Wasburg,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.