Axelrod, Julius

Portrait
Born: May 30, 1912 AD
Died: 2004 AD, at 92 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Biochemist


1912 - Born on the 30th of May in New York City.

1933 - He received his bachelor's degree in biology from the College of the City of New York.

1935 - He worked briefly as a laboratory technician at New York University, he got a job with the New York City Department of Health testing vitamin supplements added to food.

       - He injured his left eye when an ammonia bottle in the lab exploded; he would wear an eyepatch for the rest of his life.

1941 - While working at the Department of Health, he attended night school and received his master's in sciences degree from New York University.

1946 - Took a position working under Bernard Brodie at Goldwater Memorial Hospital.

1949 - Began work at the National Heart Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). At the National Heart Institute, he worked on the mechanisms and effects of caffeine, which led him to an interest in the sympathetic nervous system and its main neurotransmitters, epinephrine and norepinephrine.

1954 - He could not advance his career without a Ph.D., he took a leave of absence from the NIH, to attend George Washington University.

1955 - Allowed to submit some of his previous research toward his degree, he graduated one year later.

1957 - Working on monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, he showed that catecholamine neurotransmitters do not merely stop working after they are released into the synapse.

1958 - He discovered and characterized the enzyme catechol-O-methyl transferase, which is involved in the breakdown of catecholamines.

1970 - He won a share of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Bernard Katz and Ulf von Euler.

1973 - U.S. President Richard Nixon created an agency with the specific goal of curing cancer.

       - Along with fellow Nobel-laurates Marshall W. Nirenberg and Christian Anfinsen, organized a petition by scientists opposed to the new agency, on the grounds that by focusing solely on cancer, public funding would not be available for research into other, more solvable, medical problems.

2004 - Died on the 29th of December.


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