Leonor Michaelis (1875–1949) made some of the most important contributions to the application of physical chemistry to biological systems during the first half of the 20th Century. Like many young men interested in using basic physics and chemistry to study biomedical problems at that time, Michaelis was advised by no less a person than Paul Ehrlich to qualify in medicine to be able to earn a living. He followed that advice, and the work I am concerned with here was carried out after he completed his medical studies. For about 5 years before the outbreak of World War I, Michaelis's principal research interests centred on enzyme kinetics and the importance of hydrogen ions in biological systems. He carried out his basic research in clinical laboratories side by side with his medical work.

This content is only available as a PDF.