Tadeusz Reichstein

Tadeusz Reichstein
Born (1897-07-20)July 20, 1897
Włocławek, Kingdom of Poland
Died 1 August 1996(1996-08-01) (aged 99)
Basel, Switzerland
Citizenship Poland, Switzerland
Nationality Polish, Swiss
Known for cortisone
Notable awards Marcel Benoist Prize (1947)
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1950)
Copley Medal (1968)
Spouse Henriette Louise Quarles van Ufford (m. 1927; 1 child)

Tadeusz Reichstein (20 July 1897 – 1 August 1996) was a Polish-Swiss chemist and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate (1950).[1][2][3]

Life and career

Reichstein was born into a Polish-Jewish family at Włocławek, Kingdom of Poland. His parents were Gastawa (Brockmann) and Izydor Reichstein.[4] He spent his early childhood at Kiev, where his father was an engineer. He began his education at boarding-school in Jena, Germany and arrived in Basel, Switzerland at the age of 8.

In 1933, working in Zürich, Switzerland, Reichstein succeeded, independently of Sir Norman Haworth and his collaborators in the United Kingdom, in synthesizing vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in what is now called the Reichstein process.

Together with E. C. Kendall and P. S. Hench, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1950 for their work on hormones of the adrenal cortex which culminated in the isolation of cortisone.

In later years, Reichstein became interested in the phytochemistry and cytology of ferns, publishing at least 80 papers on these subjects in the last three decades of his life. He had a particular interest in the use of chromosome number and behavior in the interpretation of histories of hybridization and polyploidy, but also continued his earlier interest in the chemical constituents of the plants.

He died in Basel, Switzerland. The principal industrial process for the artificial synthesis of Vitamin C still bears his name. Reichstein was the longest-lived Nobel laureate at the time of his death, but was surpassed in 2008 by Rita Levi-Montalcini.

See also


  1. Rothschild, M. (1999). "Tadeus Reichstein. 20 July 1897 -- 1 August 1996: Elected For.Mem.R.S. 1952". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 45: 449–467. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1999.0030.
  2. Sterkowicz, S. (1999). "On the hundredth birthday of the first scientist of Polish ancestry to receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine: Tadeusz Reichstein". Przeglad lekarski. 56 (3): 245–246. PMID 10442018.
  3. Wincewicz, A.; Sulkowska, M.; Sulkowski, S. (2007). "Tadeus Reichstein, co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine: On the occasion of the 110th anniversary of his birth in Poland". Hormones (Athens, Greece). 6 (4): 341–343. doi:10.14310/horm.2002.1111031. PMID 18055426.
  4. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1950/reichstein-bio.html?print=1
  5. IPNI.  Reichst.
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