Nobel Prize Award for Physiology and Medicine 1934 to 1943

About the Nobel Prize Award for Physiology and Medicine from 1934 to 1943 including the scientists Dale and Dam, their works, and history.

PHYSIOLOGY AND MEDICINE

1934 George R. Minot (1885-1950), American William P. Murphy (1892- ), American

George H. Whipple (1878-1976), American

Work: Discovered that liver builds blood, and so provided a cure for the then fatal disease of pernicious anemia

1935 Hans Spemann (1869-1941), German

Work: Discovered that an embryo contains units which dictate its growth

1936 Henry H. Dale (1875-1968). British

Otto Loewi (1873-1961), American (b. Germany)

Work: Discovered facts about the transmission of nerve impulses

Nobel Laureates: Born in London, Dale cut his education just short of a medical degree to take up research. He worked for a time under Paul Ehrlich and from 1904 to 1914 Directed the Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories, during which time he finally earned his M.D. and turned his attention to pharmacology. He and others isolated acetylcholine and demonstrated that the compound chemically transmitted nerve impulses which controlled the sweat glands and the stomach muscles, among other things.

A victim of the Nazi crackdown on German campuses, Loewi fled to the U.S. after making valuable studies into the functions of metabolism, the kidneys, and the nervous system. In the early hours of Easter morning in 1921, Loewi, then a pharmacological professor at the University of Graz in Austria, arose from a dream which seemed to outline experiments to follow. He carved out the hearts from two frogs and rigged them up to tubes, electrical wires, and salt water. In the end, he proved that nerves command action with the release of chemical substances, which in turn transmit information.

1937 Albert Szent-Gyorgyi von Nagyrapolt (1893- ), American (b. Hungary)

Work: Research in metabolism and vitamin C, which he named ascorbic acid

1938 Corneille J. F. Heymans (1892-1968), Belgian

Work: Discovered that the carotid sinus regulates respiration

1939 Gerhard Domagk (1895-1964), German

Work: Discovery of prontosil, the first sulfa drug

1940 No award

1941 No award

1942 No award

1943 Henrik Dam (1895-1976), Danish

Work: Discovery of vitamin K

Edward A. Doisy (1893- ), American

Work: Discovered the chemical nature of vitamin K

Nobel Laureates: Born in Copenhagen, Dam began teaching biochemistry at the city's university in 1920. He fled his homeland before the Nazi advance two decades later. In 1934 he discovered vitamin K, a blood-clotting agent. In 1941 he was named professor in absentia at Copenhagen Polytechnic Institute. The following year he joined the medical research team at the University of Rochester (N.Y.), where he resumed vitamin K-related experiments. He returned to Copenhagen after W. W. II to fill his post at the Polytechnic Institute. He retired in 1965.

A native of Hume, III., Doisy became a biochemist and joined the faculty of the St. Louis University Medical School in 1923. His diverse experiments ranged from the impact of insulin on the blood and blood composition to the development of female hormones and their use in correcting endocrinal imbalances. In 1929 he became the first to isolate a female sex hormone, now know as estrone. Several years later he concentrated on finding that element in blood responsible for clotting. Independently of Dam, he hit on vitamin K and went on to promote its manufacture and use. Doisy retired in 1965.

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