Leloir, Luis Federico

Leloir, Luis Federico,

1906–87, Argentine biochemist, b. France, M.D. Univ. of Buenos Aires, 1932, Ph.D. Leloir was a researcher at the Univ. of Buenos Aires from 1932 to 1943. He then taught briefly at Washington Univ., St. Louis (1943–44), and at Columbia (1944–45). In 1945, he returned to the Univ. of Buenos Aires. Leloir received the 1970 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of sugar nucleotides and their role in the biosynthesis of carbohydrates. His research led to significant progress in the diagnosis and treatment of galactosemia, a congenital disease that can lead to mental retardation and abnormalities of the liver and eye if left untreated.

Leloir, Luis Federico

 

Born Sept. 6, 1906, in Paris. Argentine biochemist.

Leloir graduated from the University of Buenos Aires in 1932. He was on the staff of the university’s Institute of Physiology in 1934 and 1935 and again from 1937 to 1943; in 1941 he was appointed professor of physiology. In 1936, Leloir performed research in the biochemical laboratory of Cambridge University. After moving to the USA in 1943, he taught at Washington University in 1944 and at Columbia University in 1944 and 1945. He returned to Argentina in 1946 and became director of the biochemical laboratory of the Institute of Physiology.

Leloir’s principal works are devoted to the reactions of carbohydrates with nucleostide diphosphate sugars in living cells. He established the chemical structure of the sugars and determined the pathways of their biosynthesis. He also isolated and studied many of the enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism.

Leloir became a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) in 1960 and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1961. He was named a fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1972. Leloir received a Nobel Prize in 1970.

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