Warburg, Otto Heinrich


Otto Heinrich Warburg (1883–1970) was a German biochemist and Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Cell Physiology in Berlin‐Dahlem. Warburg is noted for eminent studies of central metabolic processes, such as respiration, cancer and photosynthesis. He revolutionised cell physiological and biochemical research through the introduction of physical methods and techniques (manometry, spectrophotometry and others) and he was able to identify and crystallise a number of important (co‐)enzymes. For his work in cellular respiration, Warburg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1931.

Keywords: spectrophotometry; manometry; photosynthesis; flavoproteins; cancer cells; Atmungsferment; cell respiration; history of biochemistry

Further Reading

Burk D (1976) Warburg, Otto Heinrich. In: Gillispie CC (ed.) Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 14, pp. 172–177. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

Höxtermann E and Sucker U (1989) Otto Warburg. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner.

Höxtermann E (2001) Otto Heinrich Warburg (1883–1970). In: Jahn I and Schmitt M (eds) Darwin & Co. Eine Geschichte der Biologie in Portraits, vol. 2. Munich: Beck.

Krebs HA (1972) Otto Heinrich Warburg. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 18: 629–699.

Krebs H and Schmid R (1981) Otto Warburg: Cell Physiologist, Biochemist and Eccentric, Krebs H and Martin A (transl.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Nickelsen K and Govindjee (2011) The Maximum Quantum Yield Controversy: Otto Warburg and the “Midwest‐Gang”. Bern: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.

Warburg OH (1949) Heavy Metal Prosthetic Groups and Enzyme Action. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Werner P (1991) Ein Genie irrt seltener… Otto Heinrich Warburg: Ein Lebensbild in Dokumenten. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

Werner P (1996) Otto Warburg und das Problem der Sauerstoffaktivierung. Marburg: Basilisken‐Presse.

Werner P (1997) Learning from an adversary? Warburg against Wieland. Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 28: 173–196.

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Nickelsen, Kärin(Dec 2015) Warburg, Otto Heinrich. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002440.pub2]