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Bachmann, Werner Emmanuellocked

(13 November 1901–22 March 1951)
  • Albert B. Costa


Bachmann, Werner Emmanuel (13 November 1901–22 March 1951), organic chemist, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Arnold William Bachmann, a Swiss-born minister, and Bertha Wurster. He developed an early interest in chemistry, and his knowledge was such that his Detroit high school released him from classes for one year during World War I in order to formulate alloy mixtures at a local foundry. From 1919 to 1921 he attended Detroit Junior College. He then enrolled in the University of Michigan, receiving bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in 1923, 1924, and 1926, respectively. In 1927 he married Marie Knaphurst, a childhood friend; they had two children. A 1927 Rockefeller Foundation fellowship enabled him to study in Zurich, Switzerland, with the Nobel prizewinner Paul Karrer, with whom he determined the structure of lycopene, the red coloring matter of tomatoes. From 1929 to 1951 Bachmann was a chemistry faculty member at the University of Michigan, becoming full professor in 1939 and the Moses Gomberg University Professor in 1947. An outstanding teacher, he received in 1933 the Henry Russell Award, the university’s highest honor. He divided a 1935 Guggenheim Foundation fellowship between the Royal Cancer Hospital in London, England, and research with Heinrich Wieland in Munich, Germany....

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