August Krogh Biography


hank stramClaim to Fame: The Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine
DOB: November 15, 1874
Date of Death: September 13, 1949

Physiologist Schack August Steenberg Krogh was born in Grenaa, Jutland, Denmark on November 15, 1874. Even as a child, Krogh was fascinated with natural science and experimentation. When he was older, he attended the University of Copenhagen to study medicine. He soon dedicated most of his time to zoology, rather than medicine, and began to work with the famous Professor Christian Bohr in the Laboratory of Medical Physiology. Krogh became Bohr's assistant once he had passed his zoology examination. An Associate Professorship in Zoophysiology was created for Krogh at the University in 1908.

Although Krogh's work included numerous scientific fields, he was very interested in the problems connected with the living organism's gas exchange (respiration). He won a prize for a paper related to gas exchange, and his dissertation results opened up the whole complex of mechanisms that enable organisms' call for oxygen. He has made significant contributions to several problems such as gas binding in the blood, gas transport by the blood, and the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen in tissues. Krogh's results for his work on capillary action during exercise won him the Nobel Prize in 1920. Additionally, Krogh made a number of additions to physiological methods such as his recording spirometer used in many hospitals, precision pipettes, improved methods for gas analysis, bicycle ergometer, and respiration apparatus. Aside from his individual accomplishments, Krogh also contributed to over 200 research articles in international journals.

One of Krogh's most significant contributions to the world of medicine was his involvement in the discovery of insulin, in part because his wife, Marie, had been found to have diabetes. He promoted insulin's production in manufacturing facilities in Denmark and established a special nonprofit Nordisk Insulin Laboratory and the Novo Nordisk Fund in 1923. This was the starting point of an extremely thriving pharmaceutical company and research fund known today as Novo Nordisk and the Novo Nordisk Fund. Marie Krogh's diabetes was effectively treated with insulin. She passed away in 1943 from breast cancer; none of her children were aware that she had ever suffered from diabetes. Four years after retirement, Krogh passed away in Copenhagen on September 13, 1949, leaving a life that was full of discovery and success.

Reviewd by dLife staff 02/15.

Last Modified Date: February 11, 2015

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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