Hans Krebs' 1953 Nobel Prize to be offered at Sotheby's auction



2015-07-10 10:25:00

A Nobel Prize awarded to Hans Krebs, one of the most pre-eminent scientists of the 20th century, will be sold at Sotheby's next week.

Krebs was responsible for explaining the 'citric acid cycle', also known as the 'Krebs cycle', by which all aerobic organisms convert food into energy within the cell.

Having fled Germany in the early 1930s as the Nazis took hold of the country and began persecuting Jews, Krebs settled in England and later used his knowledge to aid the Allied war effort by advising the government on nutrition.

Krebs' initial work was conducted at Sheffield University in 1937 where he worked as a lecturer, and following the interruption of the war he completed his breakthrough, aided by the independent work of fellow biologist F.A. Lipmann.

Not only did the work of Krebs and Lipmann explain the primary source of fuel for all living organisms, but it also helped shape scientific understanding of the origins of life itself.

In 1953 both men shared the Nobel Prize, and now Krebs' medal, along with his Nobel diploma and related documents, will be offered for sale at Sotheby's with an estimated value of £250,000-£350,000.

“I am donating my father's Nobel Prize Medal in order to establish a Charitable Trust in his name," says Lord Krebs. "My father was helped by the Academic Assistance Council when he came to Britain as a refugee scientist, so the Sir Hans Krebs Trust will provide support for today’s refugee biomedical scientists."

"The Trust will also support the training of doctoral students in the biomedical sciences: my father was a passionate believer in the importance of training the next generation. I believe that he would have thoroughly approved of the creation of the Trust by the sale of his Medal”

The Sotheby's English Literature, History, Children's Books & Illustrations sale takes place in London on July 15.

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