Feodor Lynen, born in Munich, Germany, April 6, 1911, studied chemistry at the University of Munich from 1930–1934. He received his PhD in 1937 under the supervision of Noble Prize winner, Heinrich Wieland.
Lynen became a chemistry lecturer in 1942, assistant professor in 1947, and biochemistry professor in 1953 at Munich University. In addition, in 1954 he became head of the Max-Planck Institute for Cellular Chemistry, newly created for him as a result of the initiative of Otto Warburg and Otto Hahn.
Lynen’s work was devoted to the elucidation of the chemical details of metabolic processes in living cells and of the mechanisms of metabolic regulation. The problems he tackled include the Pasteur effect, acetic acid degradation in yeast, determination of the chemical structures of the activated species of acetic acid, isoprene, carboxylic acid, and cytohaemin. He also studied the degradation of fatty acids and tararic acid, the formation of acetoacetic acid, and the biosynthesis of cysteine, terpenes, rubber, and fatty acids.
Together with Konrad Bloch, he received the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism.
Lynen died in 1976 and the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship has since been set up in his name. It is granted by the Humboldt Foundation to up to 150 postdoctoral researchers and experienced researchers annually.