Neurotransmitters and Drugs That Affect the Mind

Neurotransmitters and Drugs That Affect the Mind


Julius Axelrod


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(This information was taken from the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series Program 1984-1985).

Dr. Axelrod, a Nobel laureate, is Chief of the Section on Pharmacology, Laboratory of Chemical Science, at the Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Born in New York City, Dr. Axelrod received his Ph.D. from New York University and did his postdoctoral work at the George Washington University Laboratory. In 1979, Dr. Axelrod received the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology jointly with Ulf von Euler for their contributions in the area of the sympathetic nervous.system. Other recent awards include the Paul Hoch Award from the American Psychopathological Association, the Albert Einstein Achievement Award from Yeshiva University, the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the Stanley Dean Research A ward from the American College of Psychiatrists. He has received honorary degrees from many institutions, among them George Washington University, The Medical College of Wisconsin, New York University, the City College of New York, and the University of Panama. From 1949 to 1955, Dr. Axelrod was senior chemist with the National Heart Institute; in 1956 he joined the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He is a member of many editorial and advisory boards, including the Scientific Advisory Board of the American Parkinson Disease Association, the Board of Trustees of the American Life Science Institute, and the Scientific Advisory Board for the McKnight Foundation.

His Work: A large portion of our current knowledge concerning

humoral transmitters in sympathetic nerves comes from Dr. Axelrod's work. His earliest work was with tritium-labeled epinephrine and norepinephrine; later he undertook studies that led to the elucidation of the enzymes and intermediates involved in the major route of norepinephrine metabolism. Consequences of this research have included an understanding of the actions of many drugs important in cardiology, psychiatry, and neurology-notably, the introduction of cx-methyldopa for treatment of hypertension and of L-dopa for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

His Lecture: February 16, 1985: "Neurotransmitters and Drugs That Affect the Mind"


Biochemical Pharmacology

Creation Date

February 16, 1985

Neurotransmitters and Drugs That Affect the Mind