Pharmacology

Pharmacology: timeline of key events

Julian was a chemist who was a renowned pioneer of pharmacological synthesis. He was the first African-American granted a doctoral degree in chemistry and the first to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. In 1935 he achieved the first synthesis of physostigmine. This he produced from soybean oil. The drug is used to treat glaucoma and delayed gastric emptying. A year later he joined the Gidden Company in Chicago where he oversaw the development of the industrial large-scale chemical synthesis of the human sex hormones progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone from soybean plant sterols. This work laid the foundation for the industrial production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and the oral contraceptive pill. Julian left Gidden in 1953 to found his own company, Julian Laboratories Inc. 1899-04-11T00:00:00+0000Hitchings was an American physician who helped develop new methods to design drugs that took advantage of the biochemical differences between normal human cells and pathogens (disease-causing agents). The aim was to create a drug capable of killing or inhibiting the reproduction of pathogens without harming healthy cells. Numerous drugs were developed on the back of the method, including for leukaemia, malaria, and antiviral drugs for herpes infections and AIDS. He shared the 1988 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries of important principles for drug treatment.'1905-04-18T00:00:00+0000Bovet won the 1957 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering 'synthetic compounds that inhibit the action of certain bodily substances, especially their action on the vascular system and the skeletal muscles.' This was awarded on the back of his discovery of antihistamines in 1937. Antihistamines block the neurotransmitter histamine and are now widely used to treat allergies. 1907-03-23T00:00:00+0000Furchgott was a biochemist. He is best known for having shown the signalling function of nitric oxide in the cardiovascular system. In 1966 he noticed a substance in cells on the interior surface of blood vessels were capable of relaxing the blood vessels. He called the substance endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF). By 1986 he had worked out the function and mechanism of action of EDRF and found out that it was a nitric oxide. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1998 on the back of this work, Furchgott's discoveries helped explained a wide variety of neuronal, cardiovascular and other physiological processes important to human health and disease.1916-06-04T00:00:00+0000Woodward as an organic chemist who won the 1965 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for opening up the field of artificial synthesis. He first made his mark in the early 1940s by demonstrating the application of ultraviolet spectroscopy for elucidating the structure of natural products. His method helped reduce the long and extremely tedious steps previously used to decipher the chemical structures of such products. In 1944 he and his postdoctoral researcher, William von Eggers Doering reported the successful synthesis of quinine, an organic compound used for the treatment for malaria. He went on to synthesis other organic compounds like cholesterol, cortisone, strychnine, and chlorophyll. 1917-04-10T00:00:00+0000Elion was a biochemist and pharmacologist renowned for developing new methods to design drugs that took advantage of the biochemical differences between normal human cells and pathogens (disease-causing agents). The aim was to create a drug capable of killing or inhibiting the reproduction of pathogens without harming healthy cells. Elion helped develop a number of drugs for a variety of diseases, including leukaemia and malaria. One of her most notable achievements was the creation of the first immunosuppressive drug for organ transplant patients. In 1988 she was joined awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 'discoveries of important principles for drug treatment.'1918-01-23T00:00:00+0000Black was a physician and pharmacologist. He is best known for pioneering methods to develop purposefully built drug molecules instead of being synthesised and then investigated for their therapeutic effects. He invented the first modern blood-pressure drug and first modern ulcer drug, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1988. 1924-06-14T00:00:00+0000Vane was a pharmacologist who shared the 1982 Nobel Prize in Medicine for helping to determine how aspirin produces pain-relief and reduces inflammation. He was a central figure in the discovery of prostaglandins in the mid 1970s. These are hormone-like substances that control several important functions in body and help the body when it comes under attack. Vane's work laid the foundation for new treatments for heart and blood vessel disease and the introduction of ACE inhibitors, a class of drugs commonly used for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure. 1927-03-29T00:00:00+0000Julian was a chemist who was a renowned pioneer of pharmacological synthesis. He was the first African-American granted a doctoral degree in chemistry and the first to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. In 1935 he achieved the first synthesis of physostigmine. This he produced from soybean oil. The drug is used to treat glaucoma and delayed gastric emptying. A year later he joined the Gidden Company in Chicago where he oversaw the development of the industrial large-scale chemical synthesis of the human sex hormones progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone from soybean plant sterols. This work laid the foundation for the industrial production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and the oral contraceptive pill. Julian left Gidden in 1953 to found his own company, Julian Laboratories Inc.1975-04-19T00:00:00+0000Woodward was an organic chemist who won the 1965 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for opening up the field of artificial synthesis. He first made his mark in the early 1940s by demonstrating the application of ultraviolet spectroscopy for elucidating the structure of natural products. His method helped reduce the long and extremely tedious steps previously used to decipher the chemical structures of such products. In 1944 he and his postdoctoral researcher, William von Eggers Doering reported the successful synthesis of quinine, an organic compound used for the treatment for malaria. He went on to synthesis other organic compounds like cholesterol, cortisone, strychnine, and chlorophyll.1979-07-08T00:00:00+0000Bovet was a Swiss-born Italian. He won the 1957 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering 'synthetic compounds that inhibit the action of certain bodily substances, especially their action on the vascular system and the skeletal muscles.' This was awarded on the back of his discovery of antihistamines in 1937. Antihistamines block the neurotransmitter histamine and are now widely used to treat allergies.1992-04-18T00:00:00+0000Hitchings was an American physician who helped develop new methods to design drugs that took advantage of the biochemical differences between normal human cells and pathogens (disease-causing agents). The aim was to create a drug capable of killing or inhibiting the reproduction of pathogens without harming healthy cells. Numerous drugs were developed on the back of the method, including for leukaemia, malaria, and antiviral drugs for herpes infections and AIDS. He shared the 1988 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries of important principles for drug treatment.'1998-02-27T00:00:00+0000Elion was an American biochemist and pharmacologist renowned for developing new methods to design drugs that made took advantage of the biochemical differences between normal human cells and pathogens (disease-causing agents). The aim was to create a drug capable of killing or inhibiting the reproduction of pathogens without harming healthy cells. Elion helped develop a number of drugs for a variety of diseases, including leukaemia and malaria. One of her most notable achievements was the creation of the first immunosuppressive drug for organ transplant patients. In 1988 she was joined awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 'discoveries of important principles for drug treatment.'1999-02-21T00:00:00+0000Vane was a pharmacologist who shared the 1982 Nobel Prize in Medicine for helping to determine how aspirin produces pain-relief and reduces inflammation. He was a central figure in the discovery of prostaglandins in the mid 1970s. These are hormone-like substances that control several important functions in body and help the body when it comes under attack. Vane's work laid the foundation for new treatments for heart and blood vessel disease and the introduction of ACE inhibitors, a class of drugs commonly used for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure. 2004-11-19T00:00:00+0000Furchgott was an American biochemist. He is best known for having shown the signalling function of nitric oxide in the cardiovascular system. In 1966 he noticed a substance in cells on the interior surface of blood vessels were capable of relaxing the blood vessels. He called the substance endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF). By 1986 he had worked out the function and mechanism of action of EDRF and found out that it was a nitric oxide. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1998 on the back of this work, Furchgott's discoveries helped explained a wide variety of neuronal, cardiovascular and other physiological processes important to human health and disease. 2009-05-19T00:00:00+0000Black was a Scottish physician and pharmacologist. He is best known for pioneering methods to develop purposefully built drug molecules instead of being synthesised and then investigated for their therapeutic effects. He invented the first modern blood-pressure drug and first modern ulcer drug, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1988. 2010-03-22T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places
11 Apr 1899Percy Lavon Julian was born in Montgomery, Alabama, USAJulianHarvard University
18 Apr 1905George H Hitchings was born in Hoquiam, WA, USAHitchingsWellcome Research Laboratories
23 Mar 1907Daniel Bovet was born in Neuchatel, SwitzerlandBovetIstituto Superiore di Sanita
4 Jun 1916Robert F Furchgott was born in Charleston, SC, USAFurchgottState University of New York
10 Apr 1917Robert Burns Woodward was born in Boston MA, USAWoodwardHarvard University
23 Jan 1918Gertrude B Elion was born in New York NY, USAElionWellcome Research Laboratories
14 Jun 1924James W Black was born in Uddingston, ScotlandBlackKing's College London
29 Mar 1927John Robert Vane was born in Tardebigge, UKVaneUniversity of London
19 Apr 1975Percy Lavon Julian diedJulianHarvard University
8 Jul 1979Robert Burns Woodward diedWoodwardHarvard University
18 Apr 1992Daniel Bovet diedBovetIstituto Superiore di Sanita
27 Feb 1998George H Hitchings diedHitchingsWellcome Research Laboratories
21 Feb 1999Gertrude B Elion diedElionWellcome Research Laboratories
19 Nov 2004John R Vane diedVaneUniversity of London
19 May 2009Robert F Furchgott diedFurchgottState University of New York
22 Mar 2010James W Black diedBlackKing's College London

11 Apr 1899

Percy Lavon Julian was born in Montgomery, Alabama, USA

18 Apr 1905

George H Hitchings was born in Hoquiam, WA, USA

23 Mar 1907

Daniel Bovet was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland

4 Jun 1916

Robert F Furchgott was born in Charleston, SC, USA

10 Apr 1917

Robert Burns Woodward was born in Boston MA, USA

23 Jan 1918

Gertrude B Elion was born in New York NY, USA

14 Jun 1924

James W Black was born in Uddingston, Scotland

29 Mar 1927

John Robert Vane was born in Tardebigge, UK

19 Apr 1975

Percy Lavon Julian died

19 Apr 1975

Robert Burns Woodward died

18 Apr 1992

Daniel Bovet died

27 Feb 1998

George H Hitchings died

21 Feb 1999

Gertrude B Elion died

19 Nov 2004

John R Vane died

19 May 2009

Robert F Furchgott died

22 Mar 2010

James W Black died