Issue Date: September 26, 2011
Otto R. Gottlieb
Otto R. Gottlieb, 90, one of Brazil’s most prominent organic chemists and an international pioneer in phytochemistry, died on June 20 after battling Parkinson’s disease.
Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, Gottlieb immigrated to Brazil in 1939. He earned a degree in industrial chemistry from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 1945 before beginning his career in industry.
In 1955, Gottlieb joined the Institute of Agricultural Chemistry in Rio de Janeiro, where he pursued his interest in phytochemistry. In 1964, he was named a full professor at the University of Brasília, in Brazil, and in 1966, he was awarded a doctorate by the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro. The following year, he became a professor at the University of São Paulo, serving in its Institute of Chemistry until 1990. He later worked at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and Fluminense Federal University.
Throughout his career, Gottlieb helped develop the discipline of phytochemistry, made major contributions to natural product chemistry, and also pioneered the study of Brazilian biodiversity, which provided a source of novel secondary metabolites with potential value in the development of new drugs. He authored or coauthored more than 650 scientific publications and is credited with two patents.
He is survived by his wife, Franca, three sons, and 11 grandchildren.
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