Oral history interview with Konrad E. Bloch

Oral history interview with Konrad E. Bloch

  • 1993-Mar-22

The interview begins with Konrad E. Bloch describing his childhood in Neisse, Germany, and his undergraduate education at Technische Hochschule in Munich. During a research assistantship in Davos, Switzerland, Bloch had his first encounter with the cholesterol molecule. He also produced and published three papers that Columbia University later accepted as partial fulfillment for a Ph.D. in biochemistry, which he earned in 1938.

Bloch describes his teaching and research in biochemistry at Columbia and later at the University of Chicago, where he developed an interest in the mechanism of protein synthesis from amino acids. Throughout his career, Bloch's primary research interest was the biosynthesis of cholesterol. In 1954, he became Higgins Professor of Biochemistry at Harvard University and served as Chemistry Department Chairman for three years. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology with Feodor Lynen in 1964 for his work on cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. Shortly before his retirement, he was appointed Professor of Science at the Harvard School of Public Health. Bloch closes the interview with some comments on nutrition research, blondes in Venetian Renaissance Art, the difference between biochemistry, molecular biology, and the Human Genome Project.

Place of interview
Original file type MP3, PDF
  • 65 pages
Rights In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Related URL
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Physical location


Cite as

Konrad Emil Bloch, interviewed by James J. Bohning in Harvard University on March 22, 1993. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0109. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/m326m273w.

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Transcript (Published Version)

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

10 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads