Obits in Brief: Robert Furchgott
Wednesday 10 June 2009
Robert Furchgott, who died on 19 May at the age of 92, was a Nobel Prize-winning pharmacologist whose work with the gas nitric oxide helped develop the anti-impotency drug Viagra.
Research by Furchgott, Louis Ignarro and Ferid Murad proved that nitric oxide acts as an important signal in the cardiovascular system, mediating blood pressure and blood flow. The gas's ability to enlarge blood vessels was an important step in the development by Pfizer Corporation of the drug sildenafil citrate, better known as Viagra, which increases blood flow to the penis.
In awarding Furchgott and Co the Prize for medicine in 1998, the Swedish Nobel assembly praised them for providing the first proof that a gas can perform important biochemical functions in the body.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, on 4 June 1916, Furchgott developed an early interest in birds, shells and other natural phenomena. He earned a degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina and a doctorate in biochemistry from Northwestern University. In the 1950s, Furchgott developed a method for determining how blood vessels respond to medications, neurotransmitters and hormones, using a rabbit's artery. This allowed him to study the effects of drugs on vascular smooth muscle.
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...