Ružicka, Leopold

Ružička, Leopold


Born Sept. 13, 1887, in Vukovar, Yugoslavia. Swiss organic chemist.

After graduating from the Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe in 1910, Ružička continued to work at the school as an assistant to H. Staudinger; after moving with Staudinger to Switzerland in 1912, he worked at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, where he was a professor from 1923 to 1925 and from 1929 to 1957. From 1926 to 1929 he was a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Utrecht.

Ružička’s main works were devoted to establishing the structures of terpenoid compounds (irone and farnesol) and the pathways of their biogenesis (the “isoprene rule”), and to the synthesis of steroids, including the male sex hormones andros-terone and testosterone (1934–35), and macrocyclic compounds (muscone).

Ružička shared the 1939 Nobel Prize in chemistry with A. Butenandt. He was elected a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1958.


“Znachenie teoreticheskoi organicheskoi khimii dlia khimii terpeno-vykh soedinenii.” In the collection Perspektivy razvitiia organicheskoi khimii. Edited by A. Todd. Moscow, 1959. Pages 187–222. (Translated from English and German.)