Albert Szent-Gyorgi


Died: 22 October 1986

Born: 16 Sept. 1893, Budapest, Hungary

Albert Imre Szent-Gyorgyi, a Hungarian-born biochemist, was the first to isolate vitamin C, and his research on biological oxidation provided the basis for Krebs' citric acid cycle. His discoveries about the biochemical nature of muscular contraction revolutionized the field of muscle research. His later career was dedicated to research in "submolecular" biology, applying quantum physics to biological processes. He was especially interested in cancer, and was one of the first to explore the connections between free radicals and cancer. Szent-Gyorgyi won the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in biological oxidation and vitamin C, and the Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research in 1954, for contributions to understanding cardiovascular disease through basic muscle research.

Reference: Biography of Albert Szent-Gyorgi

If I go out into nature, into the unknown, to the fringes of knowledge, everything seems mixed up and contradictory, illogical and incoherent. This is what research does. It smooths out contradiction and makes things simple, logical, and coherent. 

Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.
I always tried to live up to Leo Szilard’s commandment, “don’t lie if you don’t have to.” I had to. I filled up pages with words and plans I knew I would not follow. When I go home from my laboratory in the late afternoon, I often do not know what I am going to do the next day. I expect to think that up during the night. How could I tell them what I would do a year hence?
Life is water, dancing to the tune of solids.
Research is four things: brains with which to think, eyes with which to see, machines with which to measure and, fourth, money.
Research is not a systematic occupation but an intuitive artistic vocation.
Think boldly. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Don’t miss small details, keep your eyes open and be modest in everything except your aims.
This paper of yours is so lightly written that you must have sweated terribly.
In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.
Whatever a man does he must do first in his mind.
While we have learned everything worth knowing about ascorbic acids’ chemistry, its biological function remains unknown, preventing medicine from making full use of its remarkable reactivity