Otto Heinrich Warburg

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Warburg, Otto Heinrich


Born Oct. 8, 1883, in Freiburg, Baden; died Aug. 1, 1970, in West Berlin. German biochemist and physiologist, a student of E. Fischer; foreign member of the Royal Society in London.

Warburg studied in Berlin and Heidelberg; in 1906 he defended his doctoral thesis in chemistry and, in 1911, a thesis in medicine. In 1930 he became director of the Institute of Cell Physiology in Berlin. His studies broadened the understanding of the processes of oxidation and renewal in the living cell; in 1931 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for discovering the nature and function of the so-called respiratory enzymes. He also developed and perfected a great many instruments, apparatus, and biological research techniques that are widely used in chemistry and physiology. A number of Warburg’s works are devoted to the study of changes of substances in the cells of tumors and to questions of photosynthesis and the chemistry of fermentation.


Über den Stoffwechsel in der Tumoren. Berlin, 1926.
Über die katalytischen Wirkungen der lebendigen Substanz. Berlin, 1928.
Schwermetalle als Wirkungsgruppen von Fermenten, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1948.


Oppenheimer, C. “Otto Warburg und die Zellatmung.” Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift, 1931, vol. 57, no. 46.