Zemplén was born in Trencsén. The degree of Ph. D. was conferred upon him in 1904 at the University of Sciences in Budapest, and in 1905 he obtained a teacher's diploma in natural history and chemistry.
In the department of chemistry at the College of Selmecbánya he became the professor's assistant, then the principal assistant. Subsequently a long study tour followed, predominantly in the subject of carbohydrate research.
In 1912 he obtained teaching qualifications in the chemistry of carbohydrates, proteins and enzymes. In 1913 he was appointed to the nation's first faculty of organic chemistry, which he led for more then forty years. From 1927 he was a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and in 1948 received the Kossuth Prize. In several large chemical journals he wrote monographs on carbohydrates, and one of his most important works was entitled "Enzymes and their Practical Applications". The technical literature named the method of "Zemplén saponification" in after him.
This page is located originally at