Frederick Hopkins

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An English biochemist and Nobel laureate in 1929 for his discovery of vitamins together with his team


Frederick Hopkins was an English biochemist. In 1929, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of vitamins (formerly referred to as accessory food factors) that are essential for animal growth and survival. Prior to this, Hopkins discovered the amino acid tryptophan in 1901. In 1914, he was elected to the Chair of Biochemistry in Cambridge University. He was at that time the first professor in biochemistry in Cambridge.1 His interest in how cells obtain energy through oxidation processes and reduction reactions. Together with Walter Morley Fletcher, a British physiologist, Hopkins observed the connection between lactic acid and muscle contraction. It was regarded as one of his major achievements in the biochemistry of the cell. They were able to show that oxygen depletion would cause an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle. This led to the discovery by Archibald Hill (an English physiologist) and Otto Fritz Meyerhof (a German physician and biochemist) of a carbohydrate metabolic cycle supplying the energy used for muscle contraction.2

1 "Hopkins, Frederick Gowland (HPKS900FG)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
2 Frederick Gowland Hopkins. Retrieved from [1]