Famous American Pharmacologists

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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.
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 1 
Frances Oldham Kelsey
(Canadian-American Pharmacologist Known for Preventing 'Thalidomide' From Being Marketed in the United States)
Frances Oldham Kelsey
4
Birthdate: July 24, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cobble Hill, British Columbia, 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 
David Herold
(Accomplice of John Wilkes Booth, the Man Who Killed Abraham Lincoln)
David Herold
3
Birthdate: June 16, 1842
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Maryland, United States
Died: July 7, 1865

David Herold was an American pharmacist's assistant. He is best remembered as the accomplice of John Wilkes Booth, the man who killed Abraham Lincoln in 1865. David Herold was arrested and sentenced to death. He was hanged alongside three other conspirators on 7 July 1865 at the age of 23.   

 3 
Gertrude B. Elion
(Biochemist, Pharmacologist)
Gertrude B. Elion
3
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.

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 4 
Ferid Murad
(American Pharmacologist, Physician and Co-Winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Ferid Murad
5
Birthdate: September 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Whiting, Indiana

Ferid Murad is an American pharmacologist and physician. He achieved popularity in 1998, when he received the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Ferid Murad is the recipient of several other prominent awards, including the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research.

 5 
Louis J. Ignarro
(American Pharmacologist Who Won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1998)
Louis J. Ignarro
3
Birthdate: May 31, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Louis J. Ignarro is an American pharmacologist best known for winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998. He won the awards along with Ferid Murad and Robert F. Furchgott. Louis J. Ignarro is also the recipient of many other prestigious awards, such as the Merck Research Award, Edward G Schlieder Foundation Award, and Arthritis Foundation Research Award.

 6 
Alice Ball
(American Chemist Renowned for Developing the 'Ball Method')
Alice Ball
0
Birthdate: July 24, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States
Died: December 31, 1916

Alice Ball was an American chemist best remembered for developing the Ball Method, which became the most effective treatment for leprosy in the early 20th century. She was the first African American and first woman to work as a chemistry professor at the University of Hawaii. Alice Ball's contributions to science were recognized several years after her death.

 7 
Otto Loewi
(Former pharmacologist and psychobiologist who discovered the role of acetylcholine as an endogenous neurotransmitter)
Otto Loewi
3
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.

 8 
Julius Axelrod
(American Biochemist & Co-Winner of 1970 Nobel Prize in Physiology)
Julius Axelrod
2
Birthdate: May 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: December 29, 2004

Julius Axelrod was an American biochemist best remembered for winning the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Ulf von Euler and Bernard Katz. He is also remembered for making important contributions to the understanding of the functions of the pineal gland. Julius Axelrod was also the recipient of several other awards, including the Gairdner Foundation International Award.

 9 
Carl Ferdinand Cori
(Czech-American Biochemist and Pharmacologist Who Won the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physiology)
Carl Ferdinand Cori
2
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.

 10 
Alfred G. Gilman
(Pharmacologist, Biochemist)
Alfred G. Gilman
2
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.

 11 
John Jacob Abel
(American Biochemist and Pharmacologist Known for His Contributions to a Modern Understanding of the Ductless, or Endocrine, Glands)
John Jacob Abel
1
Birthdate: May 19, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: May 26, 1938

John Jacob Abel was a biochemist and pharmacologist who established the pharmacology department at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. While at Hopkins, he made several important medical advancements. He made significant contributions in the field of hormone extraction and founded the Journal of Biological Chemistry. He was a recipient of the Conne Medal and the Kober Medal. 

 12 
Earl W. Sutherland Jr.
(American Pharmacologist, Biochemist and Winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physiology / Medicine)
Earl W. Sutherland Jr.
1
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. 

 13 
Louis S. Goodman
(American Pharmacologist Who Pioneered the Chemotherapy Trials Using Nitrogen Mustard)
Louis S. Goodman
1
Birthdate: August 27, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: November 19, 2000

Louis S. Goodman was an American pharmacologist best remembered for his collaboration with Alfred Gilman, Sr. The two authored The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics and pioneered the chemotherapy trials using nitrogen mustard. In 1965, Louis S. Goodman was made a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

 14 
William Prusoff
(American Pharmacologist Who Developed the First Antiviral Drug Approved By the FDA)
William Prusoff
1
Birthdate: June 25, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: April 3, 2011

William Prusoff was an American pharmacologist best remembered as an early innovator in antiviral drugs. He is credited with developing idoxuridine, the first antiviral drug approved by the FDA. He also co-developed one of the earliest AIDS drugs called stavudine. William Prusoff was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the ASPET Award.