Famous American Pharmacologists

Pharmacology is a branch of medicine that deals with the study of drug action on the cells, tissues and organs or a living organism or human. Pharmacologist or people related to the profession study the composition, properties, usage and toxicology of drugs, and analyse how the drugs interact with biological systems. They are concerned with understanding the nature of drugs, their usage and their optimal utilization for best results. Mostly, people in the profession embark on two main types of research, the in-vitro research that involves using cells or animal tissue, and the in-vivo research that uses whole animals to predict the effects of specific drugs on human beings. Talking about pharmacology and pharmacologists, America has been one of the leading countries in the world to house famous pharmacologists. Earl W Sutherland won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1971 for his discoveries concerning the mechanism of the action of hormones. A year before, Julius Axelrod received the prestigious prize for his work on the release and reuptake of catecholamine neurotransmitters, a class of chemicals in the brain. Not just men, American women too have made their presence felt in the field. Gertrude Elion received the Nobel Prize in 1988 for developing new drugs that led to the development of the AIDS drug AZT. Check this segment to know more about famous American pharmacologists.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Frances Oldham Kelsey

Frances Oldham Kelsey
Famous As: Pharmacologist
Birthdate: July 24, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cobble Hill, Canada
Died: August 7, 2015

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.

 2 John Pemberton

John Pemberton
Famous As: Pharmacist
Birthdate: July 8, 1831
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Knoxville, Georgia, United States
Died: August 16, 1888

John Pemberton was an American pharmacist best remembered for his invention of Coca-Cola. A Confederate States Army veteran, Pemberton suffered from a wound sustained during the Battle of Columbus. The injury led him to experiment with different kinds of toxins and painkillers, which in turn helped him invent the recipe to make Coca-Cola.

 3 George Ryan

George Ryan
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 24, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Maquoketa, Iowa, U.S.
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 4 Gertrude B. Elion

Gertrude B. Elion
Famous As: Biochemist, Pharmacologist
Birthdate: January 23, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 21, 1999

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.

 5 David Herold

David Herold
Famous As: Pharmacist's assistant
Birthdate: June 16, 1842
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Maryland, United States
Died: July 7, 1865

 6 Ferid Murad

Ferid Murad
Famous As: Physician and Pharmacologist
Birthdate: September 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Whiting, Indiana

 7 Charles R. Walgreen

Charles R. Walgreen
Famous As: American pharmacologist
Birthdate: October 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Knoxville, Illinois, United States
Died: December 11, 1939
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 8 Alice Ball

Alice Ball
Famous As: Chemist, Pharmacist
Birthdate: July 24, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States
Died: December 31, 1916

 9 Louis J. Ignarro

Louis J. Ignarro
Famous As: Pharmacologist
Birthdate: May 31, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 10 Otto Loewi

Otto Loewi
Famous As: Former pharmacologist and psychobiologist who discovered the role of acetylcholine as an endogenous neurotransmitter
Birthdate: June 3, 1873
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: December 25, 1961

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.

 11 Julius Axelrod

Julius Axelrod
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: May 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: December 29, 2004

 12 Carl Ferdinand Cori

Carl Ferdinand Cori
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: December 5, 1896
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: October 20, 1984

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.

 13 Alfred G. Gilman

Alfred G. Gilman
Famous As: Pharmacologist, Biochemist
Birthdate: July 1, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut
Died: December 23, 2015

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.

 14 Earl W. Sutherland Jr.

Earl W. Sutherland Jr.
Famous As: Pharmacologist
Birthdate: November 19, 1915
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Burlingame, Kansas, United States
Died: March 9, 1974

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. 

 15 Louis S. Goodman

Louis S. Goodman
Famous As: Pharmacologist
Birthdate: August 27, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: November 19, 2000

 16 William Prusoff

William Prusoff
Famous As: Pharmacologist
Birthdate: June 25, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: April 3, 2011