Leopold Stjepan Ružička (Lavoslav) (Vukovar (current Croatia), 13 september 1887 – Mammern (Switzerland), september 26, 1976) was a Swiss born in Croatiachemist. He was the first Croat who won Nobel Prize in chemistry , for his work on high polymethylenen and terpenes.


Ružička was born in the Eastern Croatian Vukovar as the oldest of the two sons of Croatian kuiper Stjepan Ružička and Ljubica Sever the German. After the early death of his father, Ružička returned with his mother back to her birthplace, Osijek. There he attended the elementary school and the gymnasium. Despite the lack of chemistry in the curriculum, he decided to go to College. Initially he wanted to study at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich, but decided by the rigid entrance examination to study in Karlsruhe in 1906. Ružička completed his disseratie under the direction of Hermann Staudinger in 1910 and 1912 followed him in to the ETH to follow Richard Willstätter . In 1917 the Ružička obtained Swiss citizenship.

During his habilitation in 1917 got Ružička support of perfume manufacturer h & Reimer which resulted in the synthesis of fenchon and a broader interpretation of theWagner rearrangement, a term that was introduced by him. After his Habilitation in 1918, began Ciba in Basel to interest themselves for his work, which resulted in the synthesis of β-collidinelinalool and pinene and the partial synthesis of some monoterpenes. In early 1921 the Geneva perfume manufacturer Chuit & Naef, Firmenich to work him, which resulted in the solution of the structure of a number of higher terpenes. Likewise, for example, the syntheses of nerolidol and farnesol performed. In addition, the structure of jasmon Tiemanns iron formula clarified and improved. In particular the insulation and structure award of a large number of naturally occurring perfumes, civetonen and muskonen.

In the years 1925-1926 stayed Ružička largely with friends in Geneva. From 1926 to 1929 he was Professor of organic chemistry at the University of Utrecht and accepted an invitation from the ETH there to return to Zurich. The main reason for this decision was the strength of the Swiss industry, especially the pharmaceutical and perfume industry. In 1930 the contact with the laboratory reinforced Ciba , which led to important discoveries in the field of male sex hormones. So he ontraffelde the molecular structure of androsterone (1934), progesterone and testosterone (1935). In 1937 the Rockefeller Foundation funded the search for natural products and in particular that to triterpenoids and steroids. Ružička In 1939 shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Adolf Butenandt.

Professor Ružička was in the possession of eight honorary doctorates. Ružička married with Anna Hausmann in 1912 and in a second marriage in 1951 to Gertrud Acklin.