Pharmacologists

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Pharmacologists are researchers who study the composition, properties, usage and toxicology of drugs, and analyze how the drugs interact with biological systems. The main aim of undertaking research pharmacology is to understand how drugs work and how they can be safely utilized for maximum efficiency. Pharmacologists study the drug design, its molecular and cellular mechanisms, and chemical biology. The two main branches of pharmacology are pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Pharmacokinetics focuses on how the body affects the drug after administration and what chemical changes happen to the substances in the drug after it enters the body. Pharmacodynamics is the study of the effects of the drugs on the body and on the microorganisms present in the body. It analyses the relationship between drug action and effect. Pharmacologists undertake two main types of research: in vitro research that involves using cells or animal tissue, and in vivo research that uses whole animals to predict the effects of specific drugs on human beings. Areas of specialization in this field include clinical pharmacology, neuropharmacology, and regulatory pharmacology. Read on to browse through a list of world famous pharmacologists and read their biographies and timelines.
Vote for Your Favourite Pharmacologists
 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 
George Ryan
(Politician)
George Ryan
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Maquoketa, Iowa, U.S.
 3 
Howard Florey
(Pathologist and Pharmacologist)
Howard Florey
5
Birthdate: September 24, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
Died: February 21, 1968

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.

 4 
Rudolf Vrba
(Former biochemist became known for having escaped from the camp in April 1944, at the height of the Holocaust)
Rudolf Vrba
3
Birthdate: September 11, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Topoľčany, Slovakia
Died: March 27, 2006
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 5 
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.

 6 
David Herold
(Pharmacist's assistant)
David Herold
3
Birthdate: June 16, 1842
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Maryland, United States
Died: July 7, 1865
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 7 
Ferid Murad
(Physician and Pharmacologist)
Ferid Murad
5
Birthdate: September 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Whiting, Indiana
 8 
Charles R. Walgreen
(American pharmacologist)
Charles R. Walgreen
5
Birthdate: October 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Knoxville, Illinois, United States
Died: December 11, 1939
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 9 
Louis J. Ignarro
(Pharmacologist)
Louis J. Ignarro
3
Birthdate: May 31, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
 10 
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.

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 11 
Alice Ball
(Chemist, Pharmacist)
Alice Ball
0
Birthdate: July 24, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States
Died: December 31, 1916
 12 
Sir James W. Black
(Pharmacologist, Physician)
Sir James W. Black
3
Birthdate: June 14, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Uddingston, Scotland
Died: March 21, 2010

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.

 13 
Li Shizhen
(Chinese scholar)
Li Shizhen
2
Birthdate: July 3, 1518
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: China
Died: 1593 AD
 14 
Ignacy Łukasiewicz
(Polish pharmacist)
Ignacy Łukasiewicz
2
Birthdate: March 8, 1822
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zaduszniki, Podkarpackie Voivodeship
Died: January 7, 1882

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.

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 15 
Henry Hallett Dale
(English Physiologist, Pharmacologist and 1936 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine)
Henry Hallett Dale
2
Birthdate: June 9, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 23, 1968

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.

 16 
Arvid Carlsson
(Neuropharmacologist)
Arvid Carlsson
2
Birthdate: January 25, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Uppsala, Sweden
Died: June 29, 2018

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.

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 17 
Salvador Moncada
(Honduran-British pharmacologist and professor)
Salvador Moncada
2
Birthdate: December 3, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tegucigalpa

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. 

 18 
Julius Axelrod
(Biochemist)
Julius Axelrod
2
Birthdate: May 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: December 29, 2004
 19 
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.

 20 
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.

 21 
John R. Vane
(British Pharmacologist Known for His Research on Understanding How Aspirin Produces Anti-Inflammatory and Pain-Relief Effects)
John R. Vane
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tardebigge, Worcestershire
Died: November 19, 2004

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.

 22 
Zhang Zhongjing
(Physician)
Zhang Zhongjing
2
Birthdate: 0150 AD
Birthplace: Nanyang, China
Died: 0219 AD

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.

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 23 
Daniel Bovet
(Pharmacologist)
Daniel Bovet
1
Birthdate: March 23, 1907
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fleurier, Switzerland
Died: April 8, 1992
 24 
Ulf von Euler
(Physiologist and Pharmacologist)
Ulf von Euler
1
Birthdate: February 7, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: March 9, 1983

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.

 25 
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. 

 26 
Earl W. Sutherland Jr.
(Pharmacologist)
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. 

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 27 
Colin Murdoch
(Pharmacist, veterinary chemist, and inventor)
Colin Murdoch
1
Birthdate: February 6, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Christchurch, New Zealand
Died: May 4, 2008
 28 
Karl Friedrich Mohr
1
Birthdate: November 4, 1806
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Koblenz, Germany
Died: September 28, 1879
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 29 
Tao Hongjing
(Writer)
Tao Hongjing
1
Birthdate: 0456 AD
Birthplace: Nanjing, China
Died: 0536 AD
 30 
Louis S. Goodman
(Pharmacologist)
Louis S. Goodman
1
Birthdate: August 27, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: November 19, 2000
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 31 
William Prusoff
(Pharmacologist)
William Prusoff
1
Birthdate: June 25, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: April 3, 2011
 32 
Frank Berger
(Pharmacologist)
Frank Berger
1
Birthdate: June 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Plzeň, Czech Republic
Died: March 18, 2008
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 33 
Georg Trakl
(Expressionist poet known for Der Herbst des Einsamen (The Autumn of The Lonely))
Georg Trakl
5
Birthdate: February 3, 1887
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: November 3, 1914

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.

 34 
Joshua Harold Burn
(British Pharmacologist Known for His Research in the Measurement of Hormones and Vitamins in Human Body)
Joshua Harold Burn
0
Birthdate: March 6, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Barnard Castle, England
Died: July 13, 1981
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 35 
Friedrich Karl Kleine
(German Pharmacologist and Microbiologist Who Developed the First Successful Remedy for Sleeping Sickness)
Friedrich Karl Kleine
1
Birthdate: May 14, 1869
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stralsund, Germany
Died: March 22, 1951

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.

 36 
Crateuas
(Physician)
Crateuas
0
Birthplace: Unknown

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.

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 37 
Rida al-Tubuly
(Pharmacologist)
Rida al-Tubuly
0
Birthdate: 1967 AD
Birthplace: Tripoli, Libya
 38 
Charles-Jacques Poncet
(Pharmacologist)
Charles-Jacques Poncet
4
Birthplace: France
Died: 1706 AD