Sunday, December 10

Valencian scientist Santiago Grisolía dies at 99

The Valencian biochemist and president of the Consell Valencià de Cultura (CVC), Santiago Grisolía, has died this morning at the age of 99, sources close to the scientist have confirmed to Europa Press.

Grisolía had been admitted to a Valencian hospital for a few days after a worsening of his health and where he was being treated for COVID. Around 6:30 a.m. he passed away. In January 2023 he would have been 100 years old.

Santiago Grisolía, promoter of the Jaume I awards, was born in Valencia in 1923 and studied Medicine at the Faculties of Madrid and Valencia, being one of the most brilliant disciples of his time.

In 1945, he won one of the ten scholarships awarded by the Ministry of Education and Science for studies abroad and, in January 1946, he began to collaborate with Professor Severo Ochoa, in the USA, in studies on the malic enzyme. Later, he went to the University of Chicago where he initiated the use of marker isotopes for the study of metabolic patterns, with which technique he was able to demonstrate the fixation of CO2 in animal tissues.

In 1948 he was hired by the University of Wisconsin, where he made a decisive contribution to the understanding of the urea metabolic cycle.

In 1954 he worked at the University of Kansas as Associate Professor and Director of the Medical Research Institute –a private foundation, attached to the University–.

In 1959 he was appointed professor at Kansas and, in 1962, coinciding with its constitution, Director of the Department of Biochemistry. There he did an admirable job as a teacher and as a researcher on the urea cycle, degradation of pyrimidine bases, glycolysis, etc., isolating the enzymes involved, clarifying reactions and establishing new criteria on the nature of enzymatic action.

In 1974 he was named Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas. In 1976 Grisolía took charge of the Directorate of the Institute of Cytological Research, founded by the Caja de Ahorros de Valencia, where he has carried out extraordinary work.

Grisolía is a Prince of Asturias Award, Doctor Honoris Causa of numerous Universities, member of the most prestigious scientific societies, advisor to foundations and entities and President of the UNESCO Coordination Committee for the Human Genome. Likewise, he has been distinguished with the most prestigious decorations and various honorary positions.