Luis Federico Leloir

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Paris, France
Birth Sign
Paris, France

Argentinean physician and biochemist Luis Federico Leloir was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the metabolic pathways that transform carbohydrates into energy in the body. He was born in France but migrated with his family to Argentina when he was just two years old. He began his research on the influence of adrenaline on the metabolism of carbohydrates and the oxidative effects of fatty acids. Later, he studied the process by which carbohydrate entering the body is broken down by nucleotides into sugar, which is then stored and transformed into energy. He demonstrated to the world that genuine international scientific study can be conducted in a third-world and poor country, even when the country is experiencing political upheaval. Lenoir was also a skilled artisan, which allowed him to construct the necessary apparatus for his investigations. At the time, research funding in Argentina was not readily available. In times of adversity, Leloir’s ability to create his own tools helped him overcome obstacles caused by the lack of proper tools, allowing him to continue his work without interruption.

Childhood & Adolescence

On September 6, 1906, Luis Federico Leloir was born in Paris, France, where his parents had traveled for medical treatment. His mother was Hortensia Aguirre de Leloir, and his father, Federico Leloir, was a non-practicing attorney.

His mother and he returned to Argentina when his father died in Paris.
He attended the ‘Escuela General San Martin elementary school, the ‘Colegio Lacordaire secondary school, and then briefly attended the ‘Beaumont College, England’ for a few months.

He studied architecture at the École Polytechnique in Paris for some time but was forced to stop his studies due to low marks.
After returning to Argentina, he joined the ‘Department of Medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. From 1932 to 1934, he completed his internship in the ‘Ramos Mejia Hospital’ in Buenos Aires after earning his medical degree in 1932.

Luis Leloir’s Career

Luis From 1934 until 1935, Federico Leloir served as a research assistant at the ‘Institute of Physiology of the ‘University of Buenos Aires, where he collaborated with Bernardo A. Houssay on the role of adrenalin in carbohydrate metabolism.

He moved to the United Kingdom in 1936 and worked for one year at the Biochemical Laboratory at Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins Hospital, which was affiliated with Cambridge University.
In 1937, upon his return to Argentina, he completed his doctoral dissertation on the effect of adrenal glands on glucose metabolism.

Due to political upheaval in Argentina, he emigrated to the United States in 1943 and joined the department of pharmacology at the ‘Washington University School of Medicine’ in St. Louis. In St. Louis, he collaborated with Carl F. and Gerty T. Cori at their ‘Cori’s Laboratory’

In 1944, he became a research assistant at the ‘College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York and collaborated with D. E. Green.

In 1945, he went to Argentina to work under Houssay at the Instituto de Investigaciones Bioqumicas de la Fundación Campomar in Buenos Aires. He was appointed Director of the institute in 1947. In spite of poor resources, he began research on the creation and breakdown of lactose in the body, which led to the discovery of nucleotides that aid in the storage of sugar during the biosynthesis of carbohydrates.

In 1947, he had assembled a group of scientists, including Raul Trucco, Alejandro Paladini, Enrico Cabib, and others, who assisted him in determining the causes of hypertension caused by a dysfunctional kidney.

Beginning in 1948, he and his team found the sugar nucleotides responsible for carbohydrate metabolism and, later, the basic mechanisms of galactose metabolism, now known as the ‘Leloir pathway,’ which produced galactosemia.

When Jaime Campomar, the industrialist who had supported the Institute, died in 1956, the study ceased due to a lack of fundingștiintștiintștiintștiintștiint Leloir secured funding from the United States ‘National Institute of Health to continue the institute’s study.

A productive relationship between Leloir’s “Investigaciones Bioquimicas de la Fundacion Campomar” and the “School of Sciences of Buenos Aires” began in 1958, when the government authorized a new building for the institute.

In 1962, Leloir was appointed Department Head and Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Buenos Aires.
In 1983, he became one of the ‘Founding Fellows’ of what is today known as the ‘Academy of Sciences for the Developing World’ or TWAS.
Until his death in 1987, Leloir served as the director of the “Campomar Biochemical Research Institute.”

His Significant Works

Articles and books written by Luis Federico Leloirs include ‘Suprarrenales y Metabolismo de Los hidratos de carbon’ (1934), ‘Pharmacology of hypertension’ (1940), ‘Hypertension arterial Neutrogena (1943), ‘Invitro Synthesis of Particulate Glycogen’, ‘Properties of synthetic and native liver glycogen’, and others.

Awards and Accomplishments

In 1943, Luis Federico Leloir was awarded the “Third National Science Award.”
In 1944, he was appointed to the “National Culture Commission of Argentina.”

He received the ‘T. Duckett Jones Memorial Award and membership in the ‘Helen Whyte Foundation of New York in 1958, the ‘Bunge and Born Foundation Award in 1965, the ‘Gairdner Foundation Award’ from the Canadian government in 1966, and the ‘Louisa Gross Horowitz Award in’ from the University of Columbia in 1967.

In 1968, he earned the Benito Juarez Mexico Award, the Juan Jose Jolly Kyle Award from the Argentine Chemistry Association, and an honorary doctorate from the National University of Cordoba.

In 1969, he became an honorary member of the “English Biochemical Society.”
In 1970, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
In 1971, he was given the Order of Andres Bello by the Legion of Honor.

In 1972, he became a “Foreign Member” of the Royal Society.
In 1982, he was awarded the ‘Legion of Honor’
In 1983, he was awarded the “Diamond Konex Award: Science and Technology.”

He was also a member of the ‘American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the ‘Academia Nacional de Medicina,’ the ‘American Philosophical Society,’ and the ‘Pontifical Academy of Sciences.’
He was awarded honorary degrees by a number of universities, including ‘Granada University, Spain’, ‘University of Paris, France’, ‘University of Tucuman, Argentina’, and ‘La Plata University, Argentina’.

Personal History and Legacies

In 1937, he married Amelia Zuberbuhler and gave birth to a daughter named Amelia. Luis Federico Leloir passed away on December 2, 1987, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Estimated Net worth

Luis is one of the wealthiest Physiologists and one of the most prominent Physiologists. According to our investigation of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Luis Federico Leloir has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.


In the 1920s, Luis Federico Leloir devised salsa golf, an Argentine condiment comprised of ketchup and mayonnaise.
Everyone liked him because of his humble, respectful, and amusing disposition.