Meyerhof, Otto, 1884-1951

Alternative names
Birth 1884-04-12
Death 1951-10-06

Biographical notes:

Otto Meyerhof was born in Hannover in 1884. He studied medicine in Berlin, Strassburg, Freiburg and Heidelberg, where he obtained his MD degree in 1909 with a thesis on psychology. Under the influence of Otto Warburg his interest turned to cellular physiology. He taught first at the University of Kiel and later in Berlin and Heidelberg. In 1922 he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He left Germany in 1938 and went to Paris, where he became Director of Research at the Institut de Biologie physico-chimique. In 1940, he immigrated to the US where the position of Research Professor of Physiological Chemistry had been created for him by the University of Pennsylvania and the Rockefeller Foundation.

From the guide to the Otto Meyerhof Collection, 1904-1963, (Leo Baeck Institute Archives)

German physiologist.

From the description of Typewritten letters signed (2) : Berlin and Heidelberg, to Professor K. Fajans, 1925 June 12 and 1933 Sept. 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270640695

Otto Meyerhof was born in Hanover on April 12, 1884, the son of Felix and Bettina May Meyerhof. Meyerhof earned his M.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 1909. He joined the medical clinic of Ludolf Krehl and while there was influenced by Otto Warburg to turn his attention and interest from psychology and philosophy to cellular physiology. From 1909 to 1911 he worked at the zoological station at Naples. Meyerhof accepted an appointment at the institute of physiology at the University of Kiel in 1912 becoming a lecturer in 1913 and associate professor in 1918. With A.V. Hill, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1923 for work on lactic acid and its relation to muscular energy. In 1924 he was appointed a member of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Biology and in 1929 became the director of the department of physiology at the Kaiser Wilhem Institute for Medical Research. In 1928, Meyerhof began his migration away from Nazi Germany, ultimately, with the aid of the Rockefeller Foundation, emigrating to the United States in 1940. He accepted a position at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as professor of biochemistry. He remained with the University until his death in 1951.

From the description of Papers, 1900-1980. (University of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 122597537


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  • Nobel prizes
  • Poetry
  • Nobel Prize winners
  • Physiologists
  • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish
  • Physiology--Research
  • Cell interaction
  • World War, 1939-1945--Evacuation of civilians


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  • Germany (as recorded)
  • Pennsylvania--Philadelphia (as recorded)