Christian R. H. Raetz

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Christian Rudolf Hubert Raetz
Born 1946
East Berlin
Nationality United States
Fields Biochemistry
Alma mater Yale University
Known for Lipid A biosynthesis in E. coli
Notable awards Van Deenen Medal

Christian Rudolf Hubert Raetz (1946 – August 16, 2011[1]) was the George Barth Geller Professor of Biochemistry at Duke University.[2] He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2006.[3] His laboratory's research focused on lipid biochemistry and has contributed significantly to the understanding of Lipid A biosynthesis.[3][4][5]

Life and education[edit]

Raetz was born in 1946 in East Berlin. His parents were industrial chemists. In the early 1950s, the Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation recruited his father, and Raetz's family moved to Columbus, Ohio. Raetz earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1967 and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1973.[3][6] Raetz died of anaplastic thyroid cancer on August 16, 2011.[7][8]


After graduate and medical school, Raetz was a research associate at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1974 he secured a faculty position in the biochemistry department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1987, Raetz joined the pharmaceutical company Merck, eventually becoming vice president for biochemistry and microbiology research. In 1993, Raetz joined the biochemistry department at Duke.[3]

Awards and distinctions[edit]

  • 2006 - Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2006 - Van Deenen Medal[9]


  1. ^ "CHRISTIAN RUDOLF HUBERT RAETZ, M.D., PH.D. 1946-2011". American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Raetz Home". Duke University School of Medicine. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d Zagorski, N. (2007). "Profile of Christian R. H. Raetz". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104 (44): 17252–17254. doi:10.1073/pnas.0709236104. PMC 2077241Freely accessible. PMID 17956978. 
  4. ^ Duke University News Service (November 5, 2008). "Duke researchers target lipid molecules associated with heart disease, other ailments". Durham, NC: Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Raetz C. Whitfield C (2002). "Lipopolysaccharide endotoxins" (abstract). Annu Rev Biochem. 71: 635–700. doi:10.1146/annurev.biochem.71.110601.135414. PMC 2569852Freely accessible. PMID 12045108. 
  6. ^ Kresge, Nicole; Simoni, Robert D.; Hill, Robert L. (July 22, 2011). "The Lipid A Assembly Pathway: The Work of Christian Raetz". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 286: e6–e8. doi:10.1074/jbc.O111.000247. 
  7. ^ Wickner, William T. (October 3, 2011). "Chris Raetz, scientist and enduring friend". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. National Academy of Sciences. 108: 17255–17256. doi:10.1073/pnas.1114405108. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Esko, Jeffrey D. "Christian Rudolf Hubert Raetz, MD PhD, 1946–2011". Glycobiology. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "The van Deenen Medal". Institute of Biomembranes. 2006. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 

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