Nobel Prize Award for Physiology and Medicine 1944 to 1950

About the Nobel Prize Award for Physiology and Medicine from 1944 to 1950 including the scientists Fleming and Hench, their works, and history.


1944 E. Joseph Erlanger (1874-1965), American Herbert S. Gasser (1888-1963), American

Work: Discovered the nature and function of nerve fibers

1945 Alexander Fleming (1881-1968), British (b. Australia)

Ernst B. Chain (1906- ), British (b. Germany)

Work: Discovery of penicillin and its therapeutic uses

1946 Hermann Joseph Muller (1890-1967), American

Work: Discovered that exposure to X rays can cause genetic mutation

1947 Carl F. Cori (1896- ), American (b. Czechoslovakia)

Gerty T. Cori (1896-1957), American (b. Czechoslovakia)

Work: Research on carbohydrate metabolism and enzymes

Bernardo A. Houssay (1887-1971), Argentinean

Work: Demonstrated the metabolic function of the pituitary gland

1948 Paul H. Muller (1899-1965), Swiss

Work: Demonstrated that dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane (DDT) is a powerful insecticide

1949 Walter R. Hess (1881-1973), Swiss

Work: Discovered how the brain controls the activities of the internal organs

Egas Moniz (1874-1955), Portuguese

Work: Treatment of certain mental disorders by cutting nerves in the front of the brain (prefrontal lobotomy)

1950 Philip S. Hench (1896-1965), American

Edward C. Kendall (1886-1972), American

Tadeus Reichstein (1897 ), Swiss (b. Poland)

Work: Hormone research, including the discovery of cortisone

Nobel Laureates: Born in Pittsburgh, Hench became a doctor and began a 36-year association with the Mayo Clinic in 1921. He specialized in the treatment of arthritic diseases. In collaboration with Kendall, he found relief for the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis with injections of an adrenal secretion labeled compound E, now know as cortisone. He retired from the Mayo Clinic in 1957 and died in Jamaica.

A native of South Norwalk, Conn., Kendall earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Columbia University and began research into the function of the thyroid gland while on the staff of St. Luke's Hospital in New York City. In 1914 he transferred to the Mayo Clinic, where he succeeded in isolating thyroxine and shed further light on thyroid mechanics. He collaborated with Hench to develop cortisone. In 1951 he resigned from the clinic to lecture on biochemistry at Princeton University.

At age eight Reichstein emigrated with his family to Switzerland. He became a chemist and began studying the aromatic properties of coffee. In 1933 he became the first to synthesize a vitamin (C). The following year he began looking into hormones, research which would dominate the remainder of his career. He synthesized the hormone which controls body salt and thus provided a treatment for Addison's disease. In 1960 he became professor of organic chemistry at the University of Basel.

Nobel Lore: Hench split his share of the award with two colleagues at the Mayo Clinic.

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