Meyerhof, Otto

(1884—1951) German-born American biochemist

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(1884–1951) German–American biochemist Meyerhof, who was born at Hannover in Germany, devoted the greater part of his academic life to the study of the biochemistry and metabolism of muscle; he shared the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine with Archibald Hill in 1922. He held professorships at Kiel and Heidelberg universities, was director of physiology at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology, Berlin, and was director of research at the Paris Institute of Biology. In 1940 he emigrated to America, where he joined the medical faculty of the University of Pennsylvania.

Meyerhof demonstrated that the production of lactic acid in muscle tissue, formed as a result of glycogen breakdown, was effected without the consumption of oxygen (i.e., anaerobically). The lactic acid was reconverted to glycogen through oxidation by molecular oxygen, during muscle rest. This line of research was continued by Gustav Embden and Carl and Gerty Cori who worked out in greater detail the steps by which glycogen is converted to lactic acid – the Embden–Meyerhof pathway.

From A Dictionary of Scientists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Science and Mathematics.

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