Otto Heinrich Warburg

About Otto Heinrich Warburg

Who is it?: Physiologist & Physician
Birth Day: October 08, 1883
Birth Place: Freiburg, Baden, German Empire, German
Alma mater: University of Berlin University of Heidelberg
Known for: Pathogenesis of cancer Warburg effect
Awards: Iron Cross 1st class (1918) Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1931) Pour le Mérite (Civil Class) (1952) Foreign Member of the Royal Society
Fields: Cell biology
Institutions: Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology
Doctoral advisor: Emil Fischer Ludolf von Krehl

Otto Heinrich Warburg

Otto Heinrich Warburg was born on October 08, 1883 in Freiburg, Baden, German Empire, German, is Physiologist & Physician. Otto Heinrich Warburg was a German physiologist and physician. He was born into a renowned Jewish family but his father had converted to Christianity before his birth and his mother was a born protestant. Accordingly, he was declared a Mischling during the Nazi regime and allowed to carry on his research even when Jews were being systematically murdered by the state machinery. However, many were of the opinion that he was allowed to live because he was involved in cancer research. At the same time, he was so devoted to his work that he refused to leave Germany even though he was offered a chance to do so. That was mainly because relocating would have resulted in losing a lot of research potential. He hypothesized that a tumor cell turns cancerous when it starts generating energy by non-oxidative breakdown of glucose; contrarily, healthy cells generate energy from oxidative breakdown of pyruvate. However, he failed to reveal how cancer cells undergo unchecked growth. For his work on cancer cells he was twice nominated for Nobel Prize but received it only once.
Otto Heinrich Warburg is a member of Scientists

Does Otto Heinrich Warburg Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Otto Heinrich Warburg has been died on 1 August 1970(1970-08-01) (aged 86)\nBerlin, West Germany.

🎂 Otto Heinrich Warburg - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Otto Heinrich Warburg die, Otto Heinrich Warburg was 86 years old.

Popular As Otto Heinrich Warburg
Occupation Scientists
Age 86 years old
Zodiac Sign Scorpio
Born October 08, 1883 (Freiburg, Baden, German Empire, German)
Birthday October 08
Town/City Freiburg, Baden, German Empire, German
Nationality German

🌙 Zodiac

Otto Heinrich Warburg’s zodiac sign is Scorpio. According to astrologers, Scorpio-born are passionate and assertive people. They are determined and decisive, and will research until they find out the truth. Scorpio is a great leader, always aware of the situation and also features prominently in resourcefulness. Scorpio is a Water sign and lives to experience and express emotions. Although emotions are very important for Scorpio, they manifest them differently than other water signs. In any case, you can be sure that the Scorpio will keep your secrets, whatever they may be.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Otto Heinrich Warburg was born in the Year of the Goat. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Goat enjoy being alone in their thoughts. They’re creative, thinkers, wanderers, unorganized, high-strung and insecure, and can be anxiety-ridden. They need lots of love, support and reassurance. Appearance is important too. Compatible with Pig or Rabbit.

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Famous Quotes:

Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.

— Otto H. Warburg,



Otto Heinrich Warburg was born in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1883, close to the Swiss border. Otto's mother was the daughter of a Protestant family of Bankers and civil servants from Baden. His father, Emil Warburg, had converted to Protestantism as an adult, although Emil’s parents were Orthodox Jews. Emil was a member of the illustrious Warburg family of Altona, and had converted to Christianity reportedly after a disagreement with his Conservative Jewish parents. Emil was also President of the Physikalische Reichsanstalt, Wirklicher Geheimer Oberregierungsrat (True Senior Privy Counselor).


Otto Warburg studied chemistry under the famous Emil Fischer, and earned his Doctor of chemistry in Berlin in 1906. He then studied under Ludolf von Krehl and earned the degree of Doctor of Medicine in Heidelberg in 1911.


Between 1908 and 1914, Warburg was affiliated with the Naples Marine Biological Station, (in Naples), Italy, where he conducted research. In later years, he would return for visits, and maintained a lifelong friendship with the family of the station's Director, Anton Dohrn.


In 1918, Warburg was appointed professor at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology in Berlin-Dahlem (part of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft). By 1931 he was named Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Cell Physiology, which was founded the previous year by a donation of the Rockefeller Foundation to the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft (since renamed the Max Planck Society).


Otto Warburg edited and had much of his original work published in The Metabolism of Tumours (tr. 1931) and wrote New Methods of Cell Physiology (1962). An unabashed anglophile, Otto Warburg was thrilled when Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctorate. He was awarded the Order Pour le Mérite in 1952 and was known to tell other universities not to bother with honorary doctorates. He would ask officials to mail him medals he had been awarded so as to avoid a ceremony that would separate him from his beloved laboratory.


Nobel Laureate George Wald, having completed his Ph.D. in zoology at Columbia University, received an award from the U.S. National Research Council to study with Warburg. During his time with Warburg, 1932-1933, Wald discovered vitamin A in the retina.


According to the Reichsbürgergesetz from 1935 (cf. Nuremberg Laws) Warburg was considered by the Nazis a half-Jew (Halbjude) resp. Mischling and in September 1942 he issued an official request for equal status ("Gleichstellung") with Germans, which was granted.


In 1941, Warburg lost his post briefly when he made critical remarks about the regime, but a few weeks later a personal order from Hitler's Chancellery ordered him to resume work on his cancer research. Göring also arranged for him to be Classified as one-quarter Jewish.


In 1943 Warburg relocated his laboratory to the village of Liebenburg on the outskirts of Berlin to avoid ongoing air attacks.


In 1944, Warburg was nominated for a second Nobel Prize in Physiology by Albert Szent-Györgyi, for his work on nicotinamide, the mechanism and enzymes involved in fermentation, and the discovery of flavin (in yellow enzymes). Some sources report that he was selected to receive the award that year, but was prevented from receiving it by Adolf Hitler’s regime, which had issued a decree in 1937 that forbade Germans from accepting Nobel Prizes. According to the Nobel Foundation, this rumor is not true; although he was considered a worthwhile candidate, he was not selected for the prize at that time.


The Otto Warburg Medal is intended to commemorate Warburg's outstanding achievements. It has been awarded by the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Gesellschaft für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie) since 1963. The prize honors and encourages pioneering achievements in fundamental biochemical and molecular biological research. The Otto Warburg Medal is regarded as the highest award in Germany for biochemists and molecular biologists. It has been endowed with prize money, sponsored by the publishing company Elsevier/BBA.


In 1968, he suffered a broken femur. This was complicated by deep vein thrombosis. He died in 1970 from pulmonary embolism and was buried in a Christian cemetery.


However, a recent reevaluation of the data from nuclear/cytoplasm transfer experiments, where nuclei from cancer cells are placed in normal cytoplasm and where nuclei from normal cells are placed in cancer cytoplasm, more strongly supports Warburg’s original theory than the somatic mutation theory for the origin of malignant transformation and cancer.

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