One of the main representatives of the Austrian chemistry, Fritz Pregl was born in Laibach (now Ljubljana) in 1969. After finishing local grammar school, he proceeded to study medicine at the University of Graz and received M.D. in 1894. After some semesters spent in Germany, in 1910 Pregl was called to the University of Innsbruck as full professor and head of the Institute of Medical Chemistry, only to return as director of the Medico-Chemical Institute to Graz, where he remained until his death.
Initially Pregl's scientific work mainly focused on physiological chemistry and the metabolic products found in human bodies. Later he turned to the study of the constitution of chemical compounds, in particular the investigation of bile acids. His experiments and observations enabled him to study chemicals using extremely small samples of each substance, in other words, to create the methods of quantitative organic microanalysis.
Pregl's advanced micromethods, developed from the Liebig's organic analysis, greatly aided and accelerated the elucidation of the chemical structure of many biologically active substances of natural origin, such as hormones, enzymes, and vitamins.
His work substantially contributed to the development of metabolic, hormone, and enzyme research and analysis. Pregl received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1923 for his invention of the method of microanalyzing organic substances.