Helmut Zahn

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Helmut Zahn
Born June 13, 1916
Erlangen, Germany
Died November 14, 2004(2004-11-14) (aged 88)
Aachen, Germany
Nationality Germany
Fields textile chemistry
Institutions RWTH Aachen
University of Heidelberg
Alma mater University of Karlsruhe (TH)
Known for first synthesis of Insulin

Helmut Zahn (* June 13, 1916 in Erlangen; † November 14, 2004 in Aachen) was a German chemist who is often credited as the first to synthesize Insulin in 1963. His results synthesizing insulin were achieved almost simultaneously with that of Panayotis Katsoyannis at the University of Pittsburgh.[1][2] His work was not honoured by the Nobel prize because in 1958 Frederick Sanger was the first who discovered the chemical structure of Insulin.

Helmut Zahn studied chemistry at the University of Karlsruhe (TH) and received his PhD in 1940. He habilitated at the University of Heidelberg and became director of the Deutsches Wollforschungsinstitut at the RWTH Aachen University in 1952.

Decorations and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Goro, Fritz (1964-05-08). "First Man-made Protein in History". Life. New York, NY: Time, Inc. 56 (19): 47–9. doi:10.1080/15216540310001659029. PMID 14992380. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  2. ^ Federwisch, Matthias; Dieken, Markus Leyck; De Meyts, Pierre, eds. (2002). Insulin & Related Proteins – Structure to Function and Pharmacology. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. ix. ISBN 1-4020-0655-1. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  3. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 548. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Editor, ÖGV. (2015). Wilhelm Exner Medal. Austrian Trade Association. ÖGV. Austria.