Photo of Konrad E. Bloch

Konrad E. Bloch

  • National Medal of Science
  • Chemistry

For his discovery of the principle of suicide inhibitors for enzymes and for an example of that principle. His discovery points the way to the rational design of therapeutic agents.

If your doctor has ever tested your cholesterol or given you medicine to lower it, you can thank Konrad E. Bloch for contributing to your health regimen. Bioch concentrated his research attention on the biological synthesis of cholesterol. His findings were jointly discovered with Feodor Lynen. The research would fundamentally change the way scientists and later physicians understood how the body regulated the substance and metabolized fatty acids. Eventually, doctors would recognize how cholesterol affects the circulatory system and would create drugs to keep it at reasonable levels.

Later in his career, Bloch taught at the University of Chicago and Harvard, and went on to write several books. After Harvard, he became chair of the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University.

As a professor, Bioch would continue to delve into understanding cholesterol at the molecular level. His insights would show how important cholesterol is to every cell in the body. Bioch helped science start to understand the complexity of the human body on the chemical level.

By Melissa Ayala