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Hans Adolf Krebs

Sir Hans Adolf Krebs (August 25, 1900–November 22, 1981) was a German, later British medical doctor and biochemist. Krebs is best known for his identification of two important metabolic cycles: the urea cycle and the citric acid cycle. The latter, the key sequence of metabolic chemical reactions that produces energy in cells, is also known as the Krebs cycle and earned him a Nobel Prize in 1953.


He was born in Hildesheim, Germany, to Alma and Georg Krebs. His father, Georg, was an ear, nose, and throat surgeon. Hans went to school in Hildesheim and studied medicine at the University of Göttingen and at the University of Freiburg from 1918–1923. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Hamburg in 1925, then studied chemistry in Berlin for one year, where he later became an assistant of Otto Warburg at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology until 1930. He then returned to clinical medicine at the municipal hospital of Altona and then at the Medical Clinic of the University of Freiburg, where he conducted research and discovered the urea cycle.

Because he was Jewish, he was barred from practicing medicine in Germany and he emigrated to England in 1933. He was invited to Cambridge, where he worked in the biochemistry department under Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins (1861–1947). Krebs became professor of biochemistry at the University of Sheffield in 1945. Krebs' area of interest was intermediary metabolism. He identified the urea cycle in 1932, and the citric acid cycle in 1937.

In 1953 he was awarded half of the Nobel Prize in Physiology for his "discovery of the citric acid cycle."

He was elected Honorary Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge University in 1979. Krebs died in Oxford, England in 1981. His son, Lord John Krebs, is also a distinguished scientist.


  • 1900 Born in Germany
  • 1918 Began medical school
  • 1923 Graduated from medical school
  • 1925 Graduated with Ph.D. from University of Hamburg
  • 1932 Identification of Urea Cycle
  • 1933 Emigration to the United Kingdom
  • 1937 Identification of Citric Acid Cycle or "Krebs Cycle"
  • 1945 Became a Professor at University of Sheffield
  • 1953 Won the Nobel Prize in Medicine
  • 1958 Knighted
  • 1981 Died in the United Kingdom

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hans_Adolf_Krebs". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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