Feodor Felix Konrad Lynen

Feodor Felix Konrad Lynen ( born April 6, 1911 in Munich, † August 6, 1979 ) was a German biochemist and Nobel laureate.


Feodor Lynen was the son of Ordinary Professor of Mechanical Engineering Wilhelm Lynen and his wife Frieda born Prym and attended the Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich. Between 1930 and 1934, studied chemistry at the University of Munich Lynen, worked after graduation 1937-42 as a fellow of the Emergency Association of German Science in the Chemical Laboratory of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and habilitated in 1941. Since 1942 as a lecturer Head of Department of Biochemistry of the Chemical State Laboratory of University of Munich, he became an associate in 1947 and 1953, full professor. Also in 1953 he was elected a full member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.

From 1972 until his retirement in 1979, Lynen Director of enzyme chemistry and metabolism, 1974-1976 Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich. As one of the most important German biochemist of the 20th century Lynen worked on the phosphate cycle and the Pasteur effect, especially about the mechanism and regulation of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. In 1951 he succeeded in the isolation of activated acetic acid ( acetyl coenzyme A) from yeast, 1958, he identified isopentenyl pyrophosphate as a building block of terpenes and cholesterol. With the isolation of the "activated acetic acid " he set the basis for clinical research on disorders of lipid metabolism such as diabetes mellitus or the development of atherosclerosis ready. For his work on the mechanism and regulation of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism Lynen received in 1964 along with Konrad Emil Bloch the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Feodor Lynen was married to Eva Wieland, daughter of the chemistry Nobel laureate Heinrich Otto Wieland. The marriage produced five children of whom the eldest daughter was also a chemist. Lynen lies in the cemetery of St. Peter at Good vineyards buried in Würmtal.

According to him, the Feodor Lynen -Gymnasium was named in 1980 in Planegg. Feodor - Lynen - roads there are in Hannover, close to the Medical School in Munich since 1996 in the district Grosshadern and in Planegg. In Starnberg, his longtime residence, there is a Feodor - Lynen - climbing. Also the Feodor - Lynen Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation was named after him, which he presided as president from 1975 to 1979.

Awards (excerpt)


  • Lynen publications include Life, Luck and Logic in Biochemical Research, 1969 ( also in: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 12 ( 1972), 204-218 )