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Otto Heinrich Warburg German Postage Stamp


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Born on October 8, 1883 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, Otto Heinrich Warburg was born into a German Protestant family. After earning his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Berlin in 1906, Warburg went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Heidelberg in 1911. Between 1908 and 1914, he was affiliated with the Naples Marine Biological Station in Naples, Italy. Warburg then went on to serve as an officer in the German Army's Uhlans calvary regiment during the First World War. Despite receiving the Iron Cross for his services during the war, Warburg was persuaded by close family friend, Albert Einstein, to leave the army and return to academia.

In 1918, Warburg was appointed as a professor at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology in Berlin, and by 1931 he was named director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Cell Physiology. Warburg proceeded to investigate the metabolism of tumors and the respiration of cancer cells. Warburg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1931 for discovering that animal tumors produce large quantities of lactic acid. Prior to receiving the award, Warburg had been nominated for a Nobel Prize forty-six times over a period of nine years beginning in 1923.

When the Nazis came to power in Germany, Warburg was persecuted for his Jewish heritage on his father's side of the family. During the Nazi regime, Warburg was banned from teaching but allowed to continue his research into metabolism and cancer. In 1944, Warburg was nominated for a second Nobel Prize in Physiology for his work on nicotinamide, which led to the discovery of flavin. Warburg continued to research metabolism and cancer in his later years, which led to his hypothesis that cancer growth is caused by tumor cells generating energy, leading him to posit that cancer was a result of mitochondrial dysfunction. Warburg formally published his hypotheses and research in the form of The Metabolism of Tumors in 1931 and New Methods of Cell Physiology in 1962. He was the recipient of the Pour le Mérite in 1952.

Otto Heinrich Warburg passed away on August 1, 1970.


Otto Heinrich Warburg German Postage Stamp, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Otto Heinrich Warburg German Postage Stamp features a color illustration of German physiologist and Nobel laureate Otto Heinrich Warburg adhered to a post card with two stamped imprints bearing text in German that reads, "Bonn1 Zellphysiologe Biochemiker Medizner Nobelpriestrager 100. Geburtstag Otto Warburg Erstaus 11.8.1983 Gaebtag 5300."

The Otto Heinrich Warburg German Postage Stamp was found in the collection of the Science History Institute.

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Finding aid was created and encoded into EAD by Sean Cureton.
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