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Tadeusz Reichstein received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1950 for his work on isolating cortisone

Tadeusz Reichstein received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1950 for his work on isolating cortisone

Reichstein (1897-1996) was born into a family of Polish Jews in Włocławek, Russian Empire. His parents were Gastau (Brockmann) and Isidor Reichstein

He spent his early childhood in Kiev, where his father was an engineer. He started his education at a boarding school in Jena, Germany and came to Basel, Switzerland, at the age of eight.

He studied chemistry at the University of Zurich. He later moved to Basel, where he was a professor at his alma mater.

He made work on the glycosides that exert a pharmacological effect on the heart and managed to carry out the synthetic synthesis of ascorbic acid or vitamin C.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1950, which he shared with Edward Calvin Kendall, and Philip Showalter Hench, for his studies of the adrenal glands and the discovery of cortisone.

In later years, Reichstein became interested in phytochemistry and fern cytology, publishing no fewer than 80 papers on these topics in the last three decades of his life. He had a particular interest in using the number and behavior of chromosomes to interpret the dates of hybridization and polyploidy, but he also carried on his earlier interest in the chemical components of plants.

He died in 1996, just days after his ninety-ninth birthday.

Works authored by him

  • A strong crystalline substance of the adrenal cortex, corticosterone. Amsterdam 1936
  • Chemistry of adrenal hormonesNobel Lecture delivered at the Carolinian Hospital, Stockholm, December 11, 1950, Nordstedt 1951
  • With Oswald Rinkonen and Ottmar Schindler: Sinogenin constitution: glycosides and aglycones. Zagreb 1957
  • thePolysaccharides from cardiac glycosides. In: Fourth International Biochemistry Conference, I: Carbohydrate Chemistry of Biologically Interesting Substances. London 1958, p. 124-139.
  • With Bernard Lang and Maturova: Isolation material from «Gloriosa superba Levin». Stuttgart 1959
  • Characteristics of cardiac glycosides. Weinheim 1962
  • With Adolf Portman as Editor: Hormones – the substances that control life. Basel 1967
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