Robert Francis Furchgott (June 4, 1916 – May 19, 2009) was a Nobel Prize-winning American biochemist who contributed to the discovery of nitric oxide as a transient cellular signal in mammalian systems.

Early life and education

Furchgott was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to Arthur Furchgott (December 1884 – January 1971), a department store owner, and Pena (Sorentrue) Furchgott.[citation needed] He graduated with a degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1937),[citation needed] and went on to earn a Ph.D in biochemistry at Northwestern University (1940),[citation needed] immediately joining a medical faculty thereafter.

Career

Furchgott was faculty member of Cornell University Medical College from 1940 to 1949,[citation needed] of Washington University School of Medicine from 1949 to 1956,[citation needed] and State University of New York Downstate Medical Center from 1956 to 2009, as professor of pharmacology.[citation needed]

In 1978, Furchgott discovered a substance in endothelial cells that relaxes blood vessels, calling it endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF).[citation needed] By 1986, he had worked out EDRF's nature and mechanism of action,[citation needed] and determined that EDRF was in fact nitric oxide (NO),[citation needed] an important compound in many aspects of cardiovascular physiology.[citation needed] This research is important in explaining a wide variety of neuronal, cardiovascular, and general physiologic processed of central importance in human health and disease.[citation needed]

In addition to receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of nitric oxide as a new cellular signal—shared in 1998 with Louis Ignarro and Ferid Murad [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] —Furchgott also received a Gairdner Foundation International Award (1991) for his groundbreaking discoveries,[citation needed] and the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (1996), the latter also with Ferid Murad. [8]

Personal life

Furchgott, who was Jewish,[9] lived for most of his married and career life in Woodmere, NY (Long Island). He was married to Lenore Mandelbaum (February 1915 – April 1983)[10] from 1941 until she died aged 68. They had three daughters: Jane, Susan and Terry. His daughter, Susan, was a prolific artist in the San Francisco counter culture and a co-founder of the Kerista Commune (she was also known as "Even Eve" and "Eve Furchgott"). Robert Furchgott later married Margaret Gallagher Roth, who died March 14, 2006.[11] He served as a professor emeritus at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. In 2008 he moved to Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood. Furchgott died on May 19, 2009[12] in Seattle. He is survived by his three daughters, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Further reading

  • Anon. (2009) "Obituary: Robert Furchgott," The Telegraph (online), May 26, 2009, see,[13] accessed 11 August 2015.
  • Raju, T N (2000), "The Nobel chronicles. 1998: Robert Francis Furchgott (b 1911), Louis J Ignarro (b 1941), and Ferid Murad (b 1936).", Lancet (Jul 22, 2000) 356 (9226), p. 346, doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(05)73635-7, PMID 11071225 
  • Rabelink, A J (1998), "Nobel prize in Medicine and Physiology 1998 for the discovery of the role of nitric oxide as a signalling molecule", Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde (Dec 26, 1998) 142 (52), pp. 2828–30, PMID 10065255 
  • Laufs, U; Erdmann, E (1998), "Nitric oxide as a signal molecule in the cardiovascular system. Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1998", Dtsch. Med. Wochenschr. (Dec 18, 1998) 123 (51–52), pp. 1562–5, doi:10.1055/s-0029-1237297, PMID 9893684 
  • Hansson, G K; Jörnvall, H; Lindahl, S G (1998), "The Nobel Prize 1998 in physiology or medicine. Nitrogen oxide as a signal molecule in the cardiovascular system", Ugeskrift for Læger (Dec 21, 1998) 160 (52), pp. 7571–8, PMID 9889673 
  • Nielsen, T T; Sørensen, K E (1998), "Discovery of "endogenous nitroglycerin", NO, as cellular signal molecule", Ugeskrift for Læger (Dec 21, 1998) 160 (52), p. 7567, PMID 9889670 
  • Mitka, M (1998), "1998 Nobel Prize winners are announced: three discoverers of nitric oxide activity", JAMA (Nov 18, 1998) 280 (19), p. 1648, doi:10.1001/jama.280.19.1648, PMID 9831980 
  • Hansson, G K; Jörnvall, H; Lindahl, S G (1998), "1998 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Nitric oxide as a signal molecule in the cardiovascular system", Lakartidningen (Oct 21, 1998) 95 (43), pp. 4703–8, PMID 9821753 

References

  1. ^ Raju, T N (2000), "The Nobel chronicles. 1998: Robert Francis Furchgott (b 1911), Louis J Ignarro (b 1941), and Ferid Murad (b 1936).", Lancet (Jul 22, 2000) 356 (9226), p. 346, doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(05)73635-7, PMID 11071225 
  2. ^ Rabelink, A J (1998), "Nobel prize in Medicine and Physiology 1998 for the discovery of the role of nitric oxide as a signalling molecule", Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde (Dec 26, 1998) 142 (52), pp. 2828–30, PMID 10065255 
  3. ^ Laufs, U; Erdmann, E (1998), "Nitric oxide as a signal molecule in the cardiovascular system. Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1998", Dtsch. Med. Wochenschr. (Dec 18, 1998) 123 (51–52), pp. 1562–5, doi:10.1055/s-0029-1237297, PMID 9893684 
  4. ^ Hansson, G K; Jörnvall, H; Lindahl, S G (1998), "The Nobel Prize 1998 in physiology or medicine. Nitrogen oxide as a signal molecule in the cardiovascular system", Ugeskrift for Læger (Dec 21, 1998) 160 (52), pp. 7571–8, PMID 9889673 
  5. ^ Nielsen, T T; Sørensen, K E (1998), "Discovery of "endogenous nitroglycerin", NO, as cellular signal molecule", Ugeskrift for Læger (Dec 21, 1998) 160 (52), p. 7567, PMID 9889670 
  6. ^ Mitka, M (1998), "1998 Nobel Prize winners are announced: three discoverers of nitric oxide activity", JAMA (Nov 18, 1998) 280 (19), p. 1648, doi:10.1001/jama.280.19.1648, PMID 9831980 
  7. ^ Hansson, G K; Jörnvall, H; Lindahl, S G (1998), "1998 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Nitric oxide as a signal molecule in the cardiovascular system", Lakartidningen (Oct 21, 1998) 95 (43), pp. 4703–8, PMID 9821753 
  8. ^ Furchgott, R.F. (1996), "The 1996 Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards. The discovery of endothelium-derived relaxing factor and its importance in the identification of nitric oxide", JAMA (Oct 9, 1996) 276 (14), pp. 1186–8, doi:10.1001/jama.276.14.1186, PMID 8827976 
  9. ^ "Seymour "Sy" Brody's". Fau.edu. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  10. ^ "RootsWeb: Database Index". Ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  11. ^ "Paid Notice - Deaths ROTH, MARGARET - Paid Death Notice - NYTimes.com". New York Times. 2006-03-17. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  12. ^ "SUNY Downstate Medical Center". Downstate.edu. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  13. ^ "Robert Furchgott". Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 

External links