Link, Karl

Karl Paul Link

University of Wisconsin, Madison

For fundamental contributions to our understanding of the mechanism of blood clotting and for the development of methods for the improved treatment of thromboembolic conditions.

It had long been recognized that the ingestion of spoiled sweet clover produced hemorrhagic disease in cattle, but the responsible agent was unknown. Professor Link accepted this challenge in 1933, and after seven years of intensive investigation, reported the successful culmination of his work and that of his co-workers with the recognition, isolation and development of the formula and synthesis of dicumarol in a classic series of papers. This opened a gateway to the further study of the mechanism of blood clotting and to the treatment of many important diseases of the heart and blood vessels for which little had been done in the past. Clinical investigators in all civilized countries have continued to use this drug for increasing number of patients. His work also encouraged others to develop new compounds with similar actions. Dr. Link and his co-workers have continued their investigations and have reported the actions of additional compounds which are being used clinically today.

In view of the vast numbers of individuals affected by thromboembolic diseases each year and the fundamental steps taken by Dr. Link toward the solution of these problems, he has earned the deep gratitude of the medical profession and the lay public of this and coming generations.