Karl August Folkers

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Karl August Folkers
Karl August Folkers.jpg
Karl August Folkers
Born (1906-09-01)September 1, 1906
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Nationality American
Fields biochemistry
Institutions Merck
Known for vitamin B-12
Notable awards ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1941)
Perkin Medal (1960)
Welch Award (1972)
Priestley Medal (1986)
National Medal of Science (1990)

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 recognition for his scientific contributions, he received the Perkin Medal in 1960, the Priestley Medal in 1986, and the National Medal of Science in 1990.


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  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

External links

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