Karl Paul Link

Karl Paul Link

Karl Paul Gerhard Link (31 January 1901 - 21 November 1978) was an American biochemist best known for his discovery of the anticoagulant warfarin.

Training and early career

He was born in LaPorte, Indiana to a Lutheran minister of German descent as one of ten children. He was schooled locally, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied agricultural chemistry at the College of Agriculture from 1918 to 1925, obtaining an MS in 1923 and a PhD in 1925. He was then chosen by the national Education Board for a postdoctoral scholarship, and relocated to Europe. He briefly worked with carbohydrate chemist Sir James Irvine at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and from 1926 with Fritz Pregl, inventor of microchemistry and Nobel Laureate. Finally he spent several months with organic chemist and future Nobel laureate Paul Karrer in the latter's lab in Zurich; during this period Link suffered from tuberculosis, requiring recuperation in Davos. Around this time he may have acquired his taste for dressing eccentrically.

He was offered an assistant professorship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1927, and was promoted to associate professor in 1928. He worked initially on plant carbohydrates and resistance to disease. He married Elizabeth Feldman in 1930; they were to have three sons.


In the subsequent years, most of his research focused on plant carbohydrates. However, the most fruitful period began when Ed Carson, a Wisconsin farmer, attracted Link's attention to sweet clover disease, described in 1924 by veterinarian Frank Schofield. In this condition, cows bled to death after consuming hay made from spoilt sweet clover. Carson's stock had been affected, and he brought a dead cow, blood that would not clot, and 100 pounds of sweet clover hay. Under the direction of Link, PhD students Harold Campbell, Ralph Overman, Charles Huebner, and Mark Stahmann crystallised the putative poison - a coumarin - and synthetised and tested it; it turned out to be dicumarol (3,3'-methylenebis-(4 hydroxycoumarin)).

Dicumarol was subjected to clinical trials in Wisconsin General Hospital and the Mayo Clinic. It was for several years the most popular oral anticoagulant.

Warfarin, one of the several compounds synthesised as part of the coumarin research, was patented in 1945 with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Link and researchers Stahlmann and Ikawa jointly owning the patent. Initially marketed as rat poison, warfarin would later, in the 1950s, become the second most important anticoagulant for clinical use (after heparin).

Later years

Link was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1946. He received several awards for his work, including the 1955 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research and the 1960 Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research. He remained closely involved in the biochemistry of warfarin and related compounds.

His work in later years was hampered by poor health (tuberculosis). Nevertheless he remained a full professor until 1971, when he retired. He was a lifelong pioneer of liberal causes, and his wife was active in the pacifist movement.

Link died from heart failure in 1978.


* Link KP, Tottingham WE. Effects of the method of desiccation on the carbohydrates of plant tissue. "J Am Chem Soc" 1923;45:439-47.
* Campbell HA, Link KP. Studies on the hemorrhagic sweet clover disease. IV. The isolation and crystallization of the hemorrhagic agent. "J Biol Chem" 1941;138:21-33.
* Stahmann MA, Huebner CF, Link KP. Studies on the hemorrhagic sweet clover disease. V. Identification and synthesis of the hemorrhagic agent. "J Biol Chem" 138:513-27.
* Link KP. The discovery of dicumarol and its sequels. "Circulation" 1959;19:97-107. PMID 13619027.


* Burris RH. "Karl Paul Link". In: "Biographical Memoirs: v. 64". National Academy Press, 1994. ISBN 0-309-04978-4. [http://darwin.nap.edu/books/0309050375/html/177.html Fulltext] .

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Karl Barth — Karl Barth, 1955 Karl Barth (* 10. Mai 1886 in Basel; † 10. Dezember 1968 ebenda) war ein Schweizer evangelisch reformierter Theologe. Er gilt im Bereich der europäischen evangelischen Kirchen aufgrund seines theologischen Gesamtwerks als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Friedrich Wilhelm von Gerber — Karl von Gerber, sächsischer Staatsminister Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Gerber, ab 1859 von Gerber (* 11. April 1823 in Ebeleben, Kyffhäuserkreis, Thüringen; + 23. Dezember 1891 in Dresden), Prof. Dr.jur., war ein bedeutender Jurist und königlic …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Friedrich von Gerber — Karl von Gerber, sächsischer Staatsminister Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Gerber, ab 1859 von Gerber (* 11. April 1823 in Ebeleben, Kyffhäuserkreis, Thüringen; + 23. Dezember 1891 in Dresden), Prof. Dr.jur., war ein bedeutender Jurist und königlic …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paul Lorenzen — 1967 Paul Lorenzen[1] (* 24. März 1915 in Kiel; † 1. Oktober 1994 in Göttingen) war ein deutscher Philosoph, Wissenschaftstheoretiker, Mathematiker und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Linn — (March 11, 1923 February 3, 2005) was a landscape architect, psychologist, educator, and community activist, best known for inspiring and guiding the creation of neighborhood commons on vacant lots in East Coast inner cities during the 1960s… …   Wikipedia

  • Paul E. Meehl — Paul Everett Meehl (3 January 1920 14 February 2003) was an American psychology professor.Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Meehl attended University of Minnesota, earning his bachelor s degree in 1941 and his doctorate in 1945. He went on to teach …   Wikipedia

  • Paul Swiridoff — (* 7. Mai 1914 in Wladikawkas/Kaukasus; † 17. Mai 2002 in Schwäbisch Hall[1]) war ein deutscher Fotograf, Essayist, Publizist und Verlagsgründer. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk 3 Porträt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Ludwig von Grünne — Karl Ludwig von Grünne …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Johann Friedrich von Roth — (* 23. Januar 1780 in Vaihingen an der Enz; † 21. Januar 1852 in München) war ein deutscher Jurist und königlich bayerischer Staatsrat und Oberkonsistorialpräsident. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Familie 2 Leben …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paul Friedrich August Ascherson — Paul Ascherson (um 1900) Paul Friedrich August Ascherson (* 4. Juni 1834 in Berlin; † 6. März 1913 ebenda) war ein deutscher Botaniker, Historiker, Ethnograph und Sprachforscher. Sein offizielles botanisches Autorenkürzel lautet „Asch.“; früh …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”