Otto Fritz Meyerhof

Otto Fritz Meyerhof
Born (1884-04-12)12 April 1884
Hanover, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Died October 6, 1951(1951-10-06) (aged 67)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Nationality German
Fields Physics and Biochemistry
Alma mater University of Strasbourg
University of Heidelberg
Known for Relationship between the consumption of oxygen and the metabolism of lactic acid in the muscle
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1922[1]
Fellow of the Royal Society[2]

Otto Fritz Meyerhof ForMemRS[2] (April 12, 1884 – October 6, 1951) was a German physician and biochemist.[3][4]


Otto Fritz Meyerhof was born in Hannover, at Theaterplatz 16A,[5][6][7] the son of wealthy Jewish parents. In 1888, his family moved to Berlin, where Otto spent most of his childhood, and where he started his study of medicine. He continued these studies in Strasbourg and Heidelberg, from which he graduated in 1909, with a work titled "Contributions to the Psychological Theory of Mental Illness". In Heidelberg, he met Hedwig Schallenberg, who later became his wife. They had a daughter, Bettina Meyerhof and two sons, Gottfried (who referred to himself as Geoffrey) and Walter.[5]

In 1912, he moved to the University of Kiel, where he became professor in 1918. In 1922, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, with Archibald Vivian Hill, for his work on muscle metabolism, including glycolysis.[8] In 1929 he became one of the directors of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research, a position he held until 1938. Fleeing the Nazi regime, he moved to Paris in 1938.[9] He then moved to the United States in 1940, where he became a guest professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.[5] In recognition of his contributions to the study of glycolysis, the common series of reactions for the pathway in Eukaryotes is known as the Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas Pathway.[10]

Meyerhof died in Philadelphia at the age of 67.[5][11]

See also


  1. Raju, T. N. (1998). "The Nobel chronicles. 1922: Archibald Vivian Hill (1886-1977), Otto Fritz Meyerhof (1884-1951)". Lancet. 352 (9137): 1396–1324. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)60805-7. PMID 9802314.
  2. 1 2 Peters, R. A. (1954). "Otto Meyerhof. 1884-1951". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 9: 174–178. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1954.0013. JSTOR 769206.
  3. Anon (1951). "Obituary: Otto Fritz Meyerhof". The Lancet. 258 (6687): 790–792. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(51)91682-0. PMID 14874513.
  4. "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1922". Nobel Prize. Retrieved 2011-01-11. Otto Fritz Meyerhof was born on April 12, 1884, in Hannover. He was the son of Felix Meyerhof, a merchant of that city and his wife Bettina May. Soon after his birth his family moved to Berlin, where he went to the Wilhelms Gymnasium (classical secondary school). Leaving school at the age of 14, he was attacked, at the age of 16, by kidney trouble and had to spend a long time in bed. During this period of enforced inactivity he was much influenced by his mother's constant companionship. He read much, wrote poetry, and went through a period of much artistic and mental development. After he had matriculated, he studied medicine at Freiburg, Berlin, Strasbourg, and Heidelberg.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "birth certificate in the Hannover registry office, 1884."
  6. "Otto Fritz Meyerhof". Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  7. "Uni Kiel – Otto Fritz Meyerhof". 1951-10-06. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  8. Kresge, N.; Simoni, R. D.; Hill, R. L. (2005). "Otto Fritz Meyerhof and the elucidation of the glycolytic pathway". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 280 (4): e3. PMID 15665335.
  9. Jean-Marc Chouraqui, Gilles Dorival, Colette Zytnicki, Enjeux d'Histoire, Jeux de Mémoire: les Usages du Passé Juif, Maisonneuve & Larose, 2006, p. 548
  10. Barnett JA. A history of research on yeasts 5: the fermentation pathway. Yeast. 2003 Apr 30;20(6):509-43. PubMed PMID 12722184 doi:10.1002/yea.986
  11. "Dr. Meyerhof, Winner Of 1923 Nobel Prize". New York Times. October 8, 1951. Retrieved 2011-01-11. Dr. Otto Meyerhof, co-winner of the 1923 Nobel Prize in Medicine, who had been a research professor in physiological chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania since coming to the United States from ...
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