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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chinese pharmacologist and scholar of the Ming dynasty Li Shizhen is remembered for his elaborate compilation Compendium of Materia Medica, which offered descriptions of over 1,000 drugs and provided instructions for about 11,000 prescriptions. His book was a benchmark in Chinese medicine and was translated into several languages.
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.
One of the pioneers of the European oil industry, Ignacy Łukasiewicz was a Polish pharmacist who not only invented the kerosene lamp but also co-established the first petroleum extraction company and invented Europe’s first modern street lamp. As an affluent man, in his later years, he also became a prominent philanthropist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Han dynasty physician and inventor Zhang Zhongjing, also known as The Chinese Hippocrates, is remembered for his iconic treatise on the medical practice of his time, Treatise on Febrile and Other Diseases, which later greatly influenced the methods of Chinese traditional medicine. He specialized in the study of typhoid fever.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greek pharmacologist and artist Crateuas is known to have drawn the first botanical illustrations. His written works offered classification of plants and described their medicinal properties, too. His books inspired later studies in pharmacology. He was also the official physician of the ruler of Pontus, Mithridates VI.
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.
British pharmacologist and Oxford professor Joshua Harold Burn is remembered for his pathbreaking research on the measurement of hormones and vitamins. A Fellow of The Royal Society, he was also a co-founder of the British Pharmacological Society and the first to receive the Wellcome Gold Medal of the same society.