>
back to top

Gilman, Alfred G. (1941-)

A scientific researcher who made important discoveries about how living cells communicate with each other and respond to outside influences, Alfred G. Gilman received his M.D. and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Case Western Reserve University in 1969. He received the 1994 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for discovering G-proteins and the role of these proteins in the signal transduction in cells.

Gilman proved that substances known as G-proteins help relay the signals a cell receives from other cells or from forces outside the body, such as light or odors. G-proteins are so named because they bind to a compound called guanosine triphosphate, one of the smaller chemical units that make up DNA. Researchers have linked abnormal G-proteins to cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.

Alfred G. Gilman has said that he owed a major debt to another Case Western Reserve University professor and Nobel laureate Earl W. Sutherland, Jr. Sutherland's pioneering studies in cellular signaling at Case Western Reserve University enabled Gilman to expand on Sutherland's findings and to discover G-proteins.

nobel e-museum listing

  a a a a a    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


back to top

Murad, Ferid (1936-)

Ferid Murad's research into the properties of nitrc oxide - a colorless, odorless gas produced by many types of body cells - led to the discovery that nitric oxide acts as a messenger to tell blood vessels to relax and widen, thus lowering blood pressure. Ferid Murad received the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for his discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system.

Murad's research found that the cardiovascular system uses nitric oxide to regulate blood pressure, widen blood vessels, fight infection, prevent blood clot formations and signal the nervous system.

His discovery, regarded as one of the most important in the history of cardiovascular medicine, has stimulated thousands of scientific papers and helped with the development of many groundbreaking pharmaceuticals. The practical applications of his research range from the ability to treat heart disease and shock to reducing the possibility of a life-threatening condition in premature babies called pulmonary hypertension.

nobel e-museum listing

  a a a a a    



















back to top  

Frederick C. Robbins (1916-)

In 1954, Frederick Robbins entered Bunce Bros. men's store on Shaker Square in search of a black tuxedo to buy. The young salesman who waited on his was startled, since someone actually buying a tuxedo was exceedingly rare. "What did you do, win the Nobel Prize?" the salesman cracked irreverently. As a matter of fact, he had. Robbins informed the salesman that he was going to Stockholm for the ceremony. After a moment of stunned silence, the salesman removed his foot from his mouth and found Robbins a find tuxedo to take along on the Queen Elizabeth into the annals of medical history.

Dean and professor of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (1952-87), Frederick C. Robbins received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for his discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue. Poliomyelitis is an infectious viral disease affecting the central nervous system. It reached epidemic proportions in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1952, more than 57,600 Americans contracted polio.

Robbins' research established that the poliovirus can multiply outside of nerve tissue and, in fact, exists in the extraneural tissues of the body, only later attacking the lower section of the brain and parts of the spinal cord. This discovery allowed researchers to grow the poliovirus in various tissue cultures, and led to the development of effective vaccines that eradicated polio.

nobel e-museum listing

  a a a a a    














 

 



back to top

Sutherland, Earl W. Jr. (1915-1974)

Professor and chair in pharmacology at the Western Reserve University School of Medicine (1956-63), Edward W. Sutherland, Jr. received the 1971 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for his discoveries concerning mechanisms of the action of hormones.

Sutherland's work revealed a new chemical intermediary called cAMP, cyclic adenyl acid - a chemical involved in the formation of body organs - and showed how cAMP participates in a wide range of biochemical and physiological control and regulatory mechanisms. Sutherland was originally working on the way in which the hormone adrenaline effects an increase in the amount of glucose in the blood. He and his fellow researchers found that the hormone stimulated the release of the enzyme adenyl cyclase into liver cells.

This, in turn, converts adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into cyclic AMP, which then intiates the complex chain converting the glycogen stored in the liver into glucose in the blood. The significance of this reaction is that adrenaline does not act directly on the molecules in the liver cell; it apparently needs and calls for what is now described as a "second messenger," cyclic AMP. His groundbreaking research, conducted at Case Western Reserve University, deciphered the role of cAMP in the functioning of adrenaline and glucagons, hormones produced by the liver and pancreas.

nobel e-museum listing