Henry Hallett Dale Biography
(English Physiologist, Pharmacologist and 1936 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine)
Birthday: June 9, 1875 (Gemini)
Born In: London, England
Sir Henry Hallett Dale was a British physiologist and pharmacologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1936 with German pharmacologist Otto Loewi “for their discoveries in the chemical transmission of nerve impulses”. Shortly after specializing in physiology and zoology from Trinity College, Cambridge he embarked on his research career at the Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories. He received his medical degree from Cambridge in 1909 and eventually became the Director of the National Institute for Medical Research, London. He also served as Secretary and later President of the Royal Society. In his research career, he identified the compound histamine in animal tissues and determined that the chemical’s physiological effects such as the dilation of blood vessels and contraction of smooth muscles were similar to the symptoms of some allergic and anaphylactic reactions. He successfully isolated acetylcholine, established its occurrence in animal tissue, and confirmed its presence at nerve endings. His research established the role of acetylcholine in the chemical transmission of nerve impulses. He played a crucial role in promoting international standards for active biological substances like hormones, antitoxins, and vaccines. During his lifetime, he was honoured with Knighthood, the Order of Merit, and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire.