Henrik Dam

Henrik Dam

[dam, dahm]
Dam, Henrik, 1895-1976, Danish biochemist. He identified vitamin K in 1934 and later investigated the role of vitamin E in nutrition. The 1943 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Dam and to E. A. Doisy for their work on vitamin K. In 1946, Dam became professor of biochemistry at the Polytechnic Institute, Copenhagen, and in 1956 he became head of the biology division of the Danish Fat Research Institute.
Henrik Dam (Full name Carl Peter Henrik Dam) (February 21, 1895April 17, 1976) was a Danish biochemist and physiologist.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1943 for his work in discovering vitamin K and its role in human physiology. His key experiment involved feeding a cholesterol-free diet to chickens. The chickens began hemorrhaging and bleeding uncontrollably after a few weeks. Dam isolated the dietary substance needed for blood clotting and called it the "coagulation vitamin", which became shortened to vitamin K.

He was born and died in Copenhagen.

He received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the Copenhagen Polytechnic Institute in 1920, and was appointed as assistant instructor in chemistry at the School of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. By 1923 he had attained the post of instructor in biochemistry at Copenhagen University's Physiological Laboratory. He studied microchemistry at the University of Graz under Fritz Pregl in 1925, but returned to Copenhagen University, where he was appointed as an assistant professor at the Institute of Biochemistry in 1928, and assistant professor in 1929. During his time as professor at Copenhagen University he spent some time working abroad, and in 1934 submitted a thesis entitled Nogle Undersøgelser over Sterinernes Biologiske Betydning (Some investigations on the biological significance of the sterines) to Copenhagen University, and received the degree of Ph.D. in biochemistry.

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