Luis Federico Leloir

Date: 1970
Owner: Nobel Foundation
Source Type: Images


Argentinean chemist and medical doctor Luis Federico Leloir (1906-1987) won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1970 for discovering sugar nucleotides that synthesize carbohydrates in mammals. Born in Paris to Argentine parents, Leloir moved to Argentina when he was two and earned his MD from the University of Buenos Aires in 1932. After a few years practicing medicine at a hospital, he began working on the role of adrenaline carbohydrate metabolism at the Institute of Physiology under Bernardo Houssay (1947 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology or Medicine). In the early 1950s, Leloir was able to isolate the sugar nucleotides, naturally produced molecules that allow the body to store various sugars and then convert them into energy. Among other sugar nucleotides, he identified uridine diphosphate glucose, which donates glucose in order to synthesize sucrose, and adenosine diphosphate glucose, which synthesizes starch. Leloir served as president of the Pan-American Association of Bio-Chemical Studies and is the only Latin American scientist to be the sole recipient of the Nobel Prize in a given year.
CITATION: Luis F. Leloir. Copyright The Nobel Foundation.