Euler-Chelpin, Hans Karl August Simon von

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Euler-Chelpin, Hans Karl August Simon von

Euler-Chelpin, Hans Karl August Simon von, 1873–1964, Swedish biochemist, b. Germany, Ph.D. Univ. of Berlin, 1895. He spent his entire career at Stockholm Univ., first as professor and later as director of the biochemical institute. Euler-Chelpin won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Arthur Harden for their investigations on the fermentation of sugar and fermentative enzymes. Euler-Chelpin's work focused in particular on coenzymes, which are necessary for the action of enzymes. He isolated the coenzyme of zymase, an enzyme in yeast, and determined its chemical structure. He also contributed to establishment of the chemical structure of several vitamins.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Euler-Chelpin, Hans Karl August Simon Von


Born Feb. 15, 1873, in Augsburg, Germany; died Nov. 6, 1964, in Stockholm. Swedish biochemist. Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Descendant of L. Euler and father of U. Euler.

Euler-Chelpin graduated from the Munich Academy of Arts in 1893 and then studied chemistry and medicine at the universities of Berlin, Strasbourg, and Göttingen. He organized the Swedish Chemical Society and served as its president from 1908 to 1963. He was a professor at the University of Stockholm from 1906 to 1929. Beginning in 1929, he was director of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and the Institute of Vitamins.

Euler-Chelpin’s works were devoted mainly to the mechanisms of various biochemical processes. Euler-Chelpin investigated the kinetics and fermentation mechanism of sugars. He observed that the rate of chemical reactions in living organisms is accelerated by enzymes and suggested calling the phenomenon biocatalysis. He also studied the structure and mechanism of action of vitamin A (with P. Karrer) and demonstrated that β-carotene is provitamin A and is present in eye pigment. He made substantial contributions to the biochemistry of tumors.

Euler-Chelpin received a Nobel Prize in 1929, with A. Harden. He was a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1927).


Grundlagen und Ergebnisse der Pflanzenchemie, parts 1–3. Braunschweig, 1908–09.
Chemie der Enzyme, 3rd ed., parts 1–2. Munich, 1925–34.


Tiutiunnik, V. M. “Gans Karl Avgust Simon fon Eiler-Khelpin.” Zhurnal Vsesoiuznogo khim. obshchestva im. D. I. Mendeleeva, 1975, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 642–43.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.