Vladimir Prelog

Vladimir Prelog is a Croatian and Swiss chemist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was born in Sarajevo in 1906 and died in Zurich in 1998. His interest in chemistry began to awaken as a high school student while he was attending high school in Osijek. This is primarily due to his chemistry professor Ivan Kuria, with whose help he published his first scientific paper in 1921. He continued his education at the Technical College in Prague, where he graduated in 1928 as a chemical engineer, while the following year he received his doctorate under the mentorship of Emil Votoček.

After graduating, he served his military service and worked for a couple of years in the chemical industry in Prague. At the invitation of the Technical Faculty of the University of Zagreb, he returned to Zagreb and accepted the position of assistant professor, took over teaching organic chemistry and became the head of the Department of Organic Chemistry. In order to organize the institute, he turned for help to a small pharmaceutical factory Kaštel (today Pliva) with which he had a successful cooperation. At that time, a research laboratory was built in the factory, which later developed into Pliva's research institute. In the seven years of Prelog's stay in Zagreb and his work at the faculty, his research group has published as many as 48 scientific papers. In a short period of time, Zagreb's organic chemistry has become recognizable worldwide.

After the outbreak of World War II, he went to Zurich at the invitation of Nobel laureate Lavoslav Ružička and was employed as an assistant professor at the Federal Technical School (ETH). He devoted his research career primarily to stereochemistry where he made significant discoveries. In collaboration with Robert S. Cahn and Christopher K. Ingold, he formulated the Cahn-Ingold-Prelog rules that are generally applied in organic stereochemistry today. Throughout his career, he collaborated with Pliva, whose scientists he often invited to his laboratory for training.

He is the winner of numerous awards and recognitions, the most significant of which is the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1975, which he shared with the British scientist J. W. Cornforth.

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