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Heinrich Otto Wieland

Heinrich Otto Wieland
Heinrich Otto Wieland
Born (1877-06-04)4 June 1877
Pforzheim, Baden, Germany
Died 5 August 1957(1957-08-05) (aged 80)
Starnberg, Bavaria, West Germany
Nationality Germany
Fields Chemistry

Technical University of Munich 1913-21,

University of Freiburg 1921-25,
University of Munich 1925-
Alma mater University of Munich
Doctoral advisor Johannes Thiele
Doctoral students Rolf Huisgen,
Leopold Horner
Known for Bile acids research
Notable awards

Heinrich Otto Wieland (4 June 1877 – 5 August 1957) was a Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Elektrochemistry in Dahlem then led by Fritz Haber [3] as an alternative to regular military service. There he was involved in weapons research for instance finding new synthetic routes for mustard gas. He is also credited with the first synthesis of Adamsite.

From 1913 to 1921, he was Professor at the Technical University of Munich. He then moved to the University of Freiburg as successor of Ludwig Gattermann (he also assumed responsibility for Gattermanns famous cookbook). In Freiburg he started working on toad poisons and bile acids. In association with Boehringer-Ingelheim he worked on synthetic alkaloids such as morphine and strychnine

In 1925 Wieland succeeded Richard Willstätter as Chemistry Professor at the University of Munich.[4][5]

In 1941, Wieland isolated the toxin alpha-amanitin, the principal active agent of one of the world's most poisonous mushrooms Amanita phalloides.

Wieland tried successfully to protect people, especially Jewish students, who were "racially burdened" after the Nuremberg Laws. Students who were expelled because they were "racially burdened" could stay in Heinrich Wieland's group as chemists or as "Gäste des Geheimrats" (guests of the privy councillor). Hans Conrad Leipelt, a student of Wieland, was sentenced to death after collecting money for Kurt Huber's widow Clara Huber.


  • Family 1
  • Heinrich Wieland Prize 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Heinrich's father, Theodor Wieland (1846–1928) was a pharmacist with a doctorate in chemistry. He owned a gold and silver refinery in Pforzheim.[3] Heinrich Wieland was a cousin of Helene Boehringer, the wife of Albert Boehringer, who was the founder of Boehringer-Ingelheim. From 1915 to the end of 1920, he was advisor at Boehringer-Ingelheim and during this time he established the first scientific department of the company.

Eva Wieland, Heinrich Wieland's daughter, was married to Feodor Lynen on 14 May 1937.

Heinrich Wieland Prize

Since 1964, the Heinrich Wieland Prize has been awarded annually. First to promote research on chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and clinical medicine of lipids and related substances. Nowadays, the prize is awarded for outstanding research on biologically active molecules and systems in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, and physiology as well as on their clinical importance. The prize is among the most treasured international science awards and has a successful history of over 50 years. To date (2014) it has been presented to 65 scientists. The Heinrich Wieland Prize has been sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim from 2000 to 2010. From 2011, it has been awarded by the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation. The awardees have always been selected by an independent Board of Trustees. Since 2014, it has been endowed with 100,000 euros.



  1. ^ a b Karrer, P. (1958). "Heinrich Wieland 1877-1957".  
  2. ^ Bernhard Witkop (1993). "Remembering Heinrich Wieland (1877-1957) portrait of an organic chemist and founder of modern biochemistry". Medicinal Research Reviews 12 (3): 195–274.  
  3. ^ a b Interconnections and Independence: Heinrich Wieland (1877–1957) and His Era Elisabeth Vaupel Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, 9154 –9179 doi:10.1002/anie.200702255
  4. ^ "Heinrich Wieland - Biography". 
  5. ^ Haslewood, G. A. (1957). "Prof. H. O. Wieland". Nature 180 (4584): 462–463.  
  6. ^ "Heinrich Wieland Prize". 

External links

  • Cox, David (3 July 2015). "Science of resistance: Heinrich Wieland, the biochemist who defied the Nazis". The Guardian. 
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