Krogh, Schack August Steenberg


The Danish zoophysiologist August Krogh (1874–1949) was a pioneer of studies of the gas exchange in living organisms and the function of capillaries in muscles at rest and at work. In 1910, he provided strong evidence that diffusion alone can explain the exchange of oxygen in the lungs, and in 1919 he suggested a mechanism that explained how the capillaries regulate the supply of oxygen to the tissue. Krogh received the Nobel Prize in medicine for 1920. He was instrumental in securing the rights for insulin production in Scandinavia, an initiative with important industrial consequences. From 1908 to his retirement in 1945 he was a professor at the University of Copenhagen.

Keywords: August Krogh; Marie Krogh; capillaries; diffusion theory; zoophysiology; insulin

Figure 1.

August Krogh, photograph from around 1910. Courtesy of the History of Science Picture Archive, Steno Library, Aarhus University.

Figure 2.

Danish 1980 stamp commemorating Krogh's Nobel Prize.


Further Reading

Dejours P (1975) Augustus Krogh and the physiology of respiration. Scandinavian Journal of Respiratory Diseases 56: 337–345.

Hill AV (1950) Augustus Schack Steenberg Krogh, 1874–1949. Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 7: 220–237.

Krogh A (1950) Reminiscences of work on capillary circulation. Isis 41: 14–20.

Nielsen H and Nielsen K (2001) Neighbouring Nobel: The History of Thirteen Danish Nobel Prizes. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press.

Nobel Foundation (1967) Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1901–1921. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Schmidt‐Nielsen B (1995) Augustus and Marie Krogh: Lives in Science. New York, NY: American Physiological Society.

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Kragh, Helge(Nov 2014) Krogh, Schack August Steenberg. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002852]