Karl August Folkers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Karl August Folkers
Karl August Folkers.jpg
Karl August Folkers
Born(1906-09-01)September 1, 1906
DiedDecember 7, 1997(1997-12-07) (aged 91)
Known forvitamin B-12
AwardsACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1941)
Perkin Medal (1960)
Welch Award (1972)
Priestley Medal (1986)
National Medal of Science (1990)
Scientific career

Karl August Folkers (September 1, 1906 – December 7, 1997) was an American biochemist who made major contributions to the isolation and identification of bioactive natural products.[1][2]


His career was mainly spent at Merck. He played a prominent role in the isolation of vitamin B12, which is one of the most structural complex of the vitamins. As a Merck Pharmaceuticals research team, Folkers, Fern P. Rathe, and Edward Anthony Kaczka were the first to isolate the antibiotic cathomycin in 1955.[3] His team also isolated the antibiotic cycloserine.[4] In 1958 his Merck team determined the structure of coenzyme Q10.[5]

In recognition for his scientific contributions, he received the Perkin Medal in 1960,[6] the William H. Nichols Medal in 1967,[7] the Priestley Medal in 1986, and the National Medal of Science in 1990.


  1. ^ Shive, William (2002). "Karl August Folkers, September 1, 1906 – December 9, 1997". Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences. 81: 100–14. PMID 12661556.
  2. ^ Olson, R E (September 1, 2001). "Karl August Folkers (1906–1997)". Journal of Nutrition. 131 (9): 2227–30. PMID 11533258.
  3. ^ Acc. 90-105 - Science Service, Records, 1920s-1970s, Smithsonian Institution Archives. Accessed 29 July 2013. http://siarchives.si.edu/collections/siris_arc_297416
  4. ^ Kuehl, Frederick A., Jr.; Wolf, Frank J.; Trenner, Nelson R.; Peck, Robert L.; Buhs, Rudolf P.; Putter, Irvin; Ormond, Robert; Lyons, John E.; Chaiet, Louis; Howe, Eugene; Hunnewell, Berl D.; Downing, Geo.; Newstead, E.; Folkers, Karl "D-4-Amino-3-isoxazolidinone, a new antibiotic" Journal of the American Chemical Society 1955, vol. 77, pp. 2344-5. doi:10.1021/ja01613a105. Stammer, Charles H.; Wilson, Andrew N.; Holly, Frederick W.; Folkers, Karl "Synthesis of D-4-amino-3-isoxazolidinone" Journal of the American Chemical Society 1955, volume 77, 2346-7. doi:10.1021/ja01613a107
  5. ^ History of CoQ10
  6. ^ "SCI Perkin Medal". Science History Institute. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  7. ^ http://www.newyorkacs.org/nicholsmedalists.html

External links[edit]