As part of the FDA, Frances Oldham Kelsey prevented thalidomide from being allowed in the US drug market as a painkiller, as she was unsure of its impact. Her concerns were proved right when the drug caused birth defects in European children. She was subsequently awarded by the US president.
Howard Florey was an Australian pathologist and pharmacologist. He is best remembered for his role in the formation of penicillin, for which he shared the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain in the year 1945. Florey is credited with carrying out the first clinical trial of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1941.
The daughter of Jewish immigrants in New York, Gertrude B. Elion excelled in chemistry at Hunter College, where she studied for free, but was initially unable to find a job due to gender bias. The renowned biochemist and pharmacologist later won a Nobel and became a pioneer in medical research.
Otto Loewi was a German-born American psycho-biologist and pharmacologist, whose research on neurology proved that chemicals were involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Working with Sir Henry Dale, he established the role of acetylcholine as an endogenous neurotransmitter, co-winning the Nobel Prize for it. Later, he worked on diabetes and devised Loewi’s test for the detection of pancreatic disease.
Sir James W. Black was a Scottish pharmacologist and physician. Black, who became interested in the study of the human heart and its reaction to adrenaline, developed a beta-blocker named propranolol to treat heart diseases. He is also credited with developing cimetidine, a drug used to cure stomach ulcers. He was honored with the 1988 Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Swedish pharmacologist Arvid Carlsson’s research work establishing dopamine as a significant neurotransmitter in the brain resulted in the development of drugs for Parkinson’s disease. In the year 2000, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work. During his career, he was also awarded the Wolf Prize in Medicine, the Japan Prize and Italy's Feltrinelli Prize.
Henry Hallett Dale was an English physiologist and pharmacologist. He is best remembered for winning the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1936 along with Otto Loewi. Henry Hallett Dale was also the recipient of many other awards like the Royal Medal, the Copley Medal, and the Albert Medal.
Salvador Moncada is a Honduran-British pharmacologist and professor. He is well known for his discoveries related to nitric oxide function and metabolism. In the past, he was the research director of the Wellcome Research Laboratories and is currently the research domain director for cancer at the University of Manchester. He is married to Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium.
Czech-American biochemist Carl Ferdinand Cori’s interest in science was not surprising, with him being a zoologist’s son. Along with his wife, Gerty Cori, and Argentine physiologist Bernardo Houssay, Cori won the Nobel Prize for finding out that glycogen is an energy storehouse of the body.
American pharmacologist and Nobel laureate Alfred G. Gilman is best remembered for his research on G proteins. Born to a Yale pharmacology professor and author father, he was destined to make it big in science. He also taught at the University of Virginia and other institutes and co-established a biotechnology company.
John R. Vane was a British pharmacologist best remembered for his work that helped understand how aspirin produces anti-inflammatory and pain-relief effects. His work also led to the development of new treatments for blood vessel and heart disease. In 1982, John R. Vane was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine alongside Bengt Samuelsson and Sune Bergström.
Noted Swedish physiologist and pharmacologist Ulf von Euler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology (1970) for his work on discovery of neurotransmitters. A full Professor of Physiology at Karolinska Institute for over three decades, he also received the Gairdner prize, became a Foreign Member of the Royal Society and a founding member of the World Cultural Council.
Earl W. Sutherland Jr. was a pharmacologist and biochemist known for his work in the field of hormones. He was honored with a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1971. As a young man, he worked in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Carl Ferdinand Cori. Under Cori’s guidance, he began his research on the effects of hormones.
Georg Trakl had had a tumultuous early life, having been addicted to drugs, apart from being attracted to his own sister. He initially aspired to be a pharmacist but later became one of Austria’s finest elegists. The Expressionist poet wrote masterpieces such as Grodek. He died of a drug overdose.
Friedrich Karl Kleine was a German pharmacologist and microbiologist. He is best remembered for developing the first successful remedy for African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness. Friedrich Karl Kleine was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bernhard Nocht Medal, which was awarded to him in 1925.