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Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus

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Title: Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus  
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Subject: Nobel Prize in Chemistry, German Nobel laureates, German chemists, Humboldt University of Berlin alumni, History of science/Selected anniversaries/December 25
Collection: 1876 Births, 1959 Deaths, Französisches Gymnasium Berlin Alumni, German Chemists, German Nobel Laureates, Humboldt University of Berlin Alumni, Knight Commanders of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, People from the Province of Brandenburg, Recipients of the Pour Le Mérite (Civil Class), Scientists from Berlin, University of Freiburg Alumni, University of Freiburg Faculty, University of Göttingen Faculty, University of Innsbruck Faculty
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Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus

Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus
Born 25 December 1876
Berlin, German Empire
Died 9 June 1959(1959-06-09) (aged 82)
Göttingen, West Germany
Nationality Germany
Fields Organic chemistry
Doctoral students Adolf Butenandt
Erhard Fernholz
Notable awards Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1928)

Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus (25 December 1876 – 9 June 1959) was a German chemist who won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1928 for his work on sterols and their relation to vitamins. He was the doctoral advisor of Adolf Butenandt who also won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1939.

Adolf Windaus was born in Berlin. His interest in chemistry was raised by lectures of Emil Fischer. He started studying medicine and chemistry in Berlin and later in Freiburg. He got his PhD in early 1900 and focused on cholesterol and other sterols at the University of Freiburg. In 1913 he became professor for chemistry at the University of Innsbruck and in 1915 he changed to the University of Göttingen where he stayed until his retirement in 1944.

He was involved in the discovery of the transformation of cholesterol through several steps to vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol). He gave his patents to Merck and Bayer and they brought out the medical Vigantol in 1927.[1]

vitamin D3



  1. ^ Haas, Jochen (2007). "[Vigantol--Adolf Windaus and the history of vitamin D]". Wurzbg Medizinhist Mitt 26: 144–81.  


  • H. H. Inhoffen (1960). "Adolf Windaus zum Gedächtnis". Naturwissenschaften 47 (5): 97–99.  
  • George Wolf (2004). "The Discovery of Vitamin D: The Contribution of Adolf Windaus" (PDF). J. Nutr. 134 (6): 1299–1302.  

External links

  • Windaus biography at
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