- CNTV English - CCTV News

Nobel Prize winning discoverer of Vitamin C honored in Hungary

03-23-2012 11:11 BJT

SZEGED, Hungary, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, a Hungarian professor at Ferencz Jozsef University in Southern Hungary's Szeged, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1937.

He was the first to isolate vitamin C, after extracting it in large quantities from paprika, the spice grown on the sunny plains around Szeged.

In honor of his discovery, nine Nobel Prize winners on Thursday arrived at the campus, now called University of Szeged, joining over 1,000 scientists from around the world to commemorate Szent-Gyorgyi's life and works on the 75th anniversary of the award.

As part of a four-day program of lectures and workshops which has attracted over 1,100 academics and scientists from 30 countries, the Nobel laureates will outline their latest research as well as give talks to university and high school students.

"Szent-Gyorgyi was a great scientist, his breakthroughs were spectacular," said Peter C. Doherty, an Australian professor who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1996 for his work in the field of immunology.

"What he discovered was so central to biology that we all sat down and studied it years ago," he added.

As well as Doherty, the impressive roll call of Nobel laureates in Szeged includes Andrew V. Schally (Medicine, 1977), Robert Huber (Chemistry, 1988), Bert Sakkman (Medicine, 1991), Eric Wieschaus (Medicine, 1995), John E. Walker (Chemistry, 1997), Tim Hunt (Medicine, 2001), Aaron Ciechanover (Chemistry, 2004), and Ada E. Yonath (Chemistry, 2009).

Szent-Gyorgyi, who died in 1986 at the age of 93, remains an idol for scientists in Hungary, not just for his prestigious award.

While many academics, scientists and intellectuals were leaving Hungary in the inter-war period, Szent-Gyorgyi returned to the central European country in the early 1930s, in part in despair, after failing to find the precious vitamin in the Unites States. The professor would finally discover a rich source of vitamin C on his own doorstep, contained in the local spice of paprika.

"Despite working in many great schools and laboratories around the world, he decided to return to Hungary at a difficult time," explained Jozsef Palinkas, President of the Hungarian Academy of Science.

"Szent-Gyorgyi's success and world fame is proof that it's always worth investing in education and science," he added.

Hungary is still managing to turn out world class researchers. In a remarkable week for science in the central European country, mathematician Endre Szemeredi won the 2012 Abel Prize on Wednesday.

The award, often described as the Nobel Prize for mathematics, was given to Szemeredi for his research on discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science.

Partly to help inspire the next generation of academics and researchers, the nine laureates in town will chat with local students.

Standing in its busy atrium, Gabor Szabo, Rector of the University of Szeged, says the spirit of Szent-Gyorgyi fills the university. "This conference is about remembering the past, but it also looks into the future," he says.

"Who knows, perhaps a future Nobel Prize winner is among these young people," he added.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program