Schoenheimer, Rudolf

Schoenheimer, Rudolf

(1898–1941) biochemist; born in Berlin, Gemany. He investigated peptide synthesis and the chemistry of sterols in plants and animals in Germany (1923–32). When Hitler forbade Jews to hold faculty positions in Germany, Schoenheimer accepted an invitation to join the faculty of Columbia University (1933–41). There he performed pioneering research in Harold Urey's laboratory, using Urey's newly discovered deuterium and heavy hydrogen isotopes to demonstrate that many human substances (e.g., depot fats, proteins, and even bone) formerly regarded as static, actually are involved in a steady turnover. Schoenheimer's career abruptly ended when, becoming depressed over both personal problems and the rise of German anti-Semitism, he committed suicide in 1941.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.