Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge Biography - German analytical chemist. Runge identified the mydriatic effects of belladonna extract, identified caffeine, and discovered the first coal tar dye

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge Biography

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge born 8 February 1794, was a German analytical chemist. Runge identified the mydriatic effects of belladonna extract, and discovered the first coal tar dye. Read Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge Biography.

Trending Biographies 🔥

  • Charles Darwin Biography
    Charles Darwin, Naturalist, Biologist, Scientist, born on 12 February 1809. Charles Darwin is best known for his work as a naturalist, developing a theory of evolution to explain biological change. Co...
  • Karl Lagerfeld Biography
    Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld born September 10, 1933, renowned worldwide for his aspirational, relevant and cutting-edge approach to style. He is a force of nature, coupled with an enigmatic persona an...
  • JĂĽrgen Klopp Biography
    JĂĽrgen Klopp, born 16 June 1967, is a German football manager who is currently the manager of Liverpool F.C. After leaving Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2015, Klopp signed with the Reds on 8 Octo...
  • Charles Dickens Biography
    Charles Dickens (February 7, 1812 to June 9, 1870) was a British novelist, journalist, editor, illustrator and social commentator who wrote such beloved classic novels as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Car...

After obtaining his doctorate and working as a professor at the University of Breslau, Runge continued to experiment – later writing two books in which he described his use of paper chromatography to separate chemical ingredients.

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge was the discoverer of caffeine and the first person to isolate quinine, but his contribution to chemistry is often overlooked.

He also invented paper chromatography, a method for separating chemicals which is widely used in teaching labs.

Karl Marx Biography

Runge was born in Germany in 1794, the son of a pastor and the third of seven children. While working as an apprentice in his uncle’s pharmacy, he got a drop of henbane juice in his eye, and noticed that his pupil dilated.

Based on experiments on a cat’s eye, he went on to write a dissertation on the toxic effects of atropine, a chemical found in plants like henbane and deadly nightshade. Atropine blocks receptors for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is released by the nervous system to activate muscles.

Runge studied chemistry at the University of Jena, Germany, under J. W. Döbereiner, an adviser to the writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. His fellow students called him “Dr Gift” – the German word for poison. Döbereiner arranged for Runge to perform a demonstration of atropine’s ability to make cats’ pupils dilate for Goethe.

Goethe was suitably impressed, and at the end of their meeting he presented Runge with a packet of coffee beans, suggesting that their chemical components might be worth investigating. Runge studied the beans, and later that year, he discovered caffeine.

In 1819, while still a student, Runge made another remarkable discovery for which he is seldom credited, isolating quinine from cinchona bark. The discovery of quinine, the first effective antimalarial compound, is usually attributed to Pierre Joseph Pelletier and Joseph Bienaimé Caventou, who reported their work a year later.

At the time, students in Germany had to do their oral doctoral examination in Latin, but Runge only went to elementary school and had not learned any other languages. He got through the exam by blurting out stock phrases such as “practica est multiplex” (practice is varied); “post nubila phoebus” (after the clouds, the sun); and “errare est humanum” (to err is human).

Karl Lagerfeld Biography

In his later years, Runge, a lifelong bachelor, directed his chemical knowledge towards household problems, such as removing stains, making wines from fruits, canning meats and vegetables, and showing off his culinary skill at dinner parties.

Runge died on 25 March 1867 but will always be remembered for his contributions to the field of chemistry.

  • Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge Biography (New Scientist)

Readers Also Enjoyed

Thank you for visiting Show your strong support.
+ Share this content with friends or Discuss this biography
+ Submit or suggest famous biographies.
+ Report errors or incorrect facts.

NEWSLETTER: Subscribe For Content Like This And More.