pharmacology

Sir James Black and the Beta Blockers

Sir James Black and the Beta Blockers

On June 14, 1924, British pharmacologist and Nobel Laureate Sir James Whyte Black was born. Black developed propranolol, a beta blocker used for the treatment of heart disease. Black was also responsible for the development of cimetidine, a H2 receptor antagonist, a drug used to treat stomach ulcers. For both developments he was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize in Medicine. “I call myself a pharmacological toolmaker. ” — Sir James W.…
John Jacob Abel and the Endocrine Glands

John Jacob Abel and the Endocrine Glands

On May 19, 1857, American biochemist and pharmacologist John Jacob Abel was born. Abel made important contributions to a modern understanding of the ductless, or endocrine, glands. He extracted a derivative of epinephrine, also known as adrenaline and successfully purified and isolated crystalline insulin. His interest in kidney functions led to his invention of a primitive artificial kidney that was able to remove toxins from the blood of living animals,…
William Withering and Digitalis

William Withering and Digitalis

On March 17, 1741, English botanist, geologist, chemist, physician William Withering was born. From his interest in botany, he paid attention to folk remedies used by herb-gatherers, and discovered digitalis, a very useful drug used to steady and strengthen heart action. William Withering’s career choice was first highly influenced by his father, an apothecary and his uncle, a physician. Withering began his studies at the University of Edinburgh in 1762 which included a large…
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