Julius Axelrod

May 30th

Born 30 May 1912; died 29 Dec 2004 at age 92.
American biochemist and pharmacologist who (with British biophysicist Sir Bernard Katz and Swedish physiologist Ulf von Euler) received the 1970 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Axelrod investigated the mechanism of formation of the hormone noradrenaline, as an important nerve impulse transmitter, specifically his discovery and isolation of the enzyme he called catechol-o-methyl transferase, which degrades chemical neurotransmitters when no longer needed. In effect this resets the nerve to nerve connections ready to transmit the next impulse that arrives. This helped the search for treatment of nervous and mental illnesses. He studied certain psychotropic drugs on the nervous system and the specific route taken by injected drugs.

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