Carl Neuberg


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Neuberg, Carl

 

Born July 29, 1877, in Hanover; died May 30, 1956, in New York. German biochemist and professor (1916).

Neuberg was educated at the universities of Würzburg and Berlin. From 1898 to 1909 he worked at the Institute of Pathology; he subsequently served, from 1920 to 1938, as director of the Institute of Biochemistry in Berlin, which he had founded. Neuberg emigrated from Germany in 1938 to pursue research at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Eventually, he moved to the United States and worked in New York from 1941 to 1950. In 1906, Neuberg started Biochemische Zeitschrift (Journal of Biochemistry); of which he was editor until 1936.

Neuberg’s main works are devoted to problems concerning carbohydrate metabolism, fermentation, and enzymes. He synthesized a number of sugars and amino acids and worked out the structure of raffinose, inositol, and phytin. He determined the key role of pyruvic acid in intermediate carbohydrate metabolism and developed a method of alcoholic fermentation. Neuberg discovered a number of enzymes, including pyruvate decarboxylase and β-glucuronidase, as well as an intermediate product in carbohydrate metabolism—fructose-6-phosphate (also called the Neuberg ester). Neuberg strongly supported the idea that all the biochemical cellular processes that take place in the panoply of living organisms have an essentially common character.

Neuberg was a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR from 1925, as well as a member of many other foreign academies and scientific societies.

REFERENCE

Gottschalk, A. “Prof. Carl. Neuberg.” Nature, 1956, vol. 178, p. 722.

G. E. VLADIMIROV

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At the age of sixty-five, Pauling gave a speech at the Carl Neuberg Medal Award dinner in which he casually mentioned that he hoped to live for another fifteen years in order to observe new developments in science and society.