John R. Vane Biography
(British Pharmacologist Known for His Research on Understanding How Aspirin Produces Anti-Inflammatory and Pain-Relief Effects)
Birthday: March 29, 1927 (Aries)
Born In: Tardebigge, Worcestershire
Sir John Robert Vane was an eminent British pharmacologist of the twentieth century who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on prostaglandins and the active biological substances that were related with it. He shared the prize with two other scientists, Bengt Samuelsson and Sune Bergstrom. His discovery on the effects of aspirin in relieving pain and inflammation led to new methods of treatment of heart diseases and problems with blood vessels. Though aspirin had been used for many years to relieve pain, nobody understood how it worked. He was the first to discover that aspirin was able to reduce the production of some of the ‘prostaglandins’ which were responsible for creating inflammation, pain and fever in the body. He explained how aspirin prevented blood clotting and strokes and heart attacks. He developed a set of ‘bioassay’ or ‘biological assessment’ techniques to measure the activity of a biological substance in measuring the effect of ‘angiotensin-converting enzymes’. With the help of these techniques he was able to establish a link between ‘prostaglandins’ and aspirin. He was also instrumental in the development of ‘prostacyclin’ which is a key factor in helping the blood vessels remain healthy.