Adolf Windaus

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Windaus, Adolf

(ä`dôlf vĭn`dous), 1876–1959, German chemist. He was professor of chemistry and director of the chemistry laboratories at the Univ. of Göttingen (1915–44). For his research on sterols, especially in relation to vitamins, he received the 1928 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He later discovered and synthetically prepared vitamin D3, the component of vitamin D that is most important in preventing the bone disease rickets.

Windaus, Adolf


Born Dec. 25, 1876, in Berlin; died June 9, 1959, in Güttingen. German biochemist and organic chemist.

After completing his education, Windaus worked in Freiburg (1901-13) and Innsbruck (1913-15); from 1915 to 1944 he was a professor and the director of the Chemical Institute in Gottingen. In 1901 he began research on sterols. He discovered their structure and the formation of vitamin D from ergosterol under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. (He received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1928.) Windaus obtained histamine by synthesis, discovered sulfur in the composition of vitamin Bt, and studied antirachitic remedies and the chemical structures of colchicine, cardiac glycosides, imidazole, and other natural, biologically active substances.


“Abbau- und Aufbauversuche im Gebiete der Sterine.” In Handbuch der biologischen Arbeitsmethoden, section 1, part 6. Berlin-Vienna, 1925.
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