Tadeusz Reichstein - Scientists, Facts and Childhood

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Tadeusz Reichstein's Personal Details

Tadeusz Reichstein was a Polish born Swiss chemist known for his discoveries concerning hormones of the adrenal cortex

InformationDetail
BirthdayJuly 20, 1897
Died onAugust 1, 1996
NationalityPolish
FamousScientists, Chemists, Organic Chemists
Birth PlaceWłocławek, Poland
GenderMale
Sun SignCancer
Born inWłocławek, Poland
Famous asChemist
Died at Age99

// Famous Chemists

Tadeusz Reichstein's photo

Who is Tadeusz Reichstein?

Tadeusz Reichstein was a Polish born Swiss chemist who along with Philip S. Hench and Edward C. Kendall, received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1950. The trio won the coveted award for their discoveries concerning hormones of the adrenal cortex. Reichstein was born into a Jewish family in Poland and migrated to Switzerland as a child. He was educated in Zurich and became interested in chemistry as a school student. After graduating from high school he began studying chemistry at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (E.T.H.) and completed his diploma. After working in the industry for a while he started working on his doctorate under Professor H. Staudinger with whom he would later research on the composition of the flavoring substances in roasted coffee. He researched for many years on the aromatic substances in chicory and published a series of papers on this subject. Eventually he qualified as a lecturer at the E.T.H. In the ensuing years he collaborated with E. C. Kendall and P. S. Hench in their seminal work on the hormones of the adrenal cortex. This research ultimately led to the isolation of cortisone and the discovery of its therapeutic value in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

// Famous Organic Chemists

Childhood & Early Life

Tadeusz Reichstein was born on 20 July 1897, in Włocławek, Kingdom of Poland, to Isidor Reichstein, an engineer, and his wife Gastava Brockmann. His Jewish parents named their son after a Polish national hero, Tadeusz Kościuszko.

The family moved to Switzerland when Reichstein was a young boy. He received his primary education from a private tutor and later went to the Oberrealschule (technical school of junior college grade).

From a young age he was inclined towards scientific pursuits and was especially interested in chemistry. After graduating from high school in 1916, he began studying chemistry at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (E.T.H.) at Zurich and completed his diploma in 1920.

After spending a year in the industry, he began work on his doctorate under Professor H. Staudinger. Following his graduation in 1922 he started doing his research on the composition of the flavoring substances in roasted coffee.

Career

He received funding for his research from an industrial firm and continued working on the aroma of coffee. His studies led to the finding that the flavor of coffee is composed of extremely complex substances which include derivatives of furan and pyrrole.

He qualified as a lecturer at the E.T.H. in 1929 following which he embarked on an academic career. He taught organic and physiological chemistry and in 1931, was appointed an assistant to Professor L. Ruzicka.

After his research on coffee and chicory ended, he devoted himself to research in other fields. In 1934, he was appointed Titular Professor, and became the Professor in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1938. The same year he also became the Director of the Pharmaceutical Institute in the University of Basel.

He began his research on the hormones of the adrenal cortex in 1934. Up to that time scientists had successfully obtained adrenal cortex extract and had sustained the lives of two animals after adrenalectomy by injections of the extract.

Tadeusz Reichstein, in collaboration with E. C. Kendall and P. S. Hench, took forward the research on the adrenal cortex extract. Reichstein used chromatography for isolating and identifying new substances in the extract and was successful in isolating about 29 hormones and determining their structure and chemical composition.

Cortisone, one of the hormones the trio isolated, was later discovered to be an anti-inflammatory agent with therapeutic value that could be useful in the treatment of arthritis. Another hormone, desoxycorticosterone, was used for many years to treat Addison’s disease.

In 1946 he became the professor of organic chemistry at the University of Basel, a post he held until 1967. He had a great love for botany as well and in his later years he researched on the phytochemistry and cytology of ferns.

In addition to his academic career he was an honorary member of more than ten scientific societies and the author or co-author of 635 papers.

Major Work

Tadeusz Reichstein, in collaboration with E. C. Kendall and P. S. Hench, performed vital research on the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structures, and their biologic effects. They isolated about 29 hormones, including cortisone, and determined their structure and chemical composition.

Awards & Achievements

In 1947 he became the recipient of the Marcel Benoist Prize which is often dubbed the "Swiss Nobel Prize."

Tadeusz Reichstein, along with E. C. Kendall and P. S. Hench, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1950 "for their discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structure and biological effects".

In 1968, he received the Copley Medal "In recognition of his distinguished work on the chemistry of vitamin C and his authoritative studies of the cortico-steroids".

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Henriette Louise Quarles van Ufford in 1927. The couple was blessed with one daughter.

An outstanding scientist, he was also active in community work during and after the World War II. During the war he provided help for refugees from German occupied countries and helped poor students in their studies after the war.

Tadeusz Reichstein lived a long life and remained active well into his nineties. He died on 1 August 1996, at the age of 99.

Trivia

He was the longest-lived Nobel laureate at the time of his death.

// Famous Scientists

Tadeusz Reichstein awards

YearNameAward

Other

1950 - Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
1968 - Copley Medal
1947 - Marcel Benoist Prize

Tadeusz Reichstein biography timelines

  • // 20th Jul 1897
    Tadeusz Reichstein was born on 20 July 1897, in Włocławek, Kingdom of Poland, to Isidor Reichstein, an engineer, and his wife Gastava Brockmann. His Jewish parents named their son after a Polish national hero, Tadeusz Kościuszko.
  • // 1916 To 1920
    From a young age he was inclined towards scientific pursuits and was especially interested in chemistry. After graduating from high school in 1916, he began studying chemistry at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (E.T.H.) at Zurich and completed his diploma in 1920.
  • // 1922
    After spending a year in the industry, he began work on his doctorate under Professor H. Staudinger. Following his graduation in 1922 he started doing his research on the composition of the flavoring substances in roasted coffee.
  • // 1927
    He married Henriette Louise Quarles van Ufford in 1927. The couple was blessed with one daughter.
  • // 1929 To 1931
    He qualified as a lecturer at the E.T.H. in 1929 following which he embarked on an academic career. He taught organic and physiological chemistry and in 1931, was appointed an assistant to Professor L. Ruzicka.
  • // 1934 To 1938
    After his research on coffee and chicory ended, he devoted himself to research in other fields. In 1934, he was appointed Titular Professor, and became the Professor in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1938. The same year he also became the Director of the Pharmaceutical Institute in the University of Basel.
  • // 1934
    He began his research on the hormones of the adrenal cortex in 1934. Up to that time scientists had successfully obtained adrenal cortex extract and had sustained the lives of two animals after adrenalectomy by injections of the extract.
  • // 1946 To 1967
    In 1946 he became the professor of organic chemistry at the University of Basel, a post he held until 1967. He had a great love for botany as well and in his later years he researched on the phytochemistry and cytology of ferns.
  • // 1947
    In 1947 he became the recipient of the Marcel Benoist Prize which is often dubbed the "Swiss Nobel Prize."
  • // 1950
    Tadeusz Reichstein, along with E. C. Kendall and P. S. Hench, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1950 "for their discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structure and biological effects".
  • // 1968
    In 1968, he received the Copley Medal "In recognition of his distinguished work on the chemistry of vitamin C and his authoritative studies of the cortico-steroids".
  • // 1st Aug 1996
    Tadeusz Reichstein lived a long life and remained active well into his nineties. He died on 1 August 1996, at the age of 99.

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Tadeusz Reichstein's FAQ

  • What is Tadeusz Reichstein birthday?

    Tadeusz Reichstein was born at 1897-07-20

  • When was Tadeusz Reichstein died?

    Tadeusz Reichstein was died at 1996-08-01

  • Where was Tadeusz Reichstein died?

    Tadeusz Reichstein was died in Basel, Switzerland

  • Which age was Tadeusz Reichstein died?

    Tadeusz Reichstein was died at age 99

  • Where is Tadeusz Reichstein's birth place?

    Tadeusz Reichstein was born in Włocławek, Poland

  • What is Tadeusz Reichstein nationalities?

    Tadeusz Reichstein's nationalities is Polish

  • What is Tadeusz Reichstein's sun sign?

    Tadeusz Reichstein is Cancer

  • How famous is Tadeusz Reichstein?

    Tadeusz Reichstein is famouse as Chemist