Council Honorees and the Nobel Prize
Our Continued Anniversary Celebration
This month we begin another feature and cover series to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Hypertension. For the next several issues, we shall honor those highly respected leaders and investigators who played important roles for the Council for High Blood Pressure Research (CHBPR). Each of the individuals that we honor had been selected as recipients of the Stouffer–Ciba–Novartis Awards, or was a speaker invited to present the Corcoran or other important Special Lectures. Then, sometime following these acknowledgments of their seminal scientific achievements or scientific presentations highlighting their important investigative work, they were honored by selection to receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their research achievements.
We begin this series by honoring Doctors Julius Axelrod and Ulf von Euler. Doctor Axelrod, then on the scientific staff of the National Institutes of Mental Health of the National Institute of Health, was a founding member of the CHBPR and an active participant in many of the CHBPR Fall Scientific meetings in its earliest years. The various presentations and papers presented by Doctor Axelrod and his coworkers dealt with the role of catecholamines and their metabolism in experimental hypertension and its complications. Several of the coauthors with Doctor Axelrod on these scientific programs of the Council in the mid-1960s have continued to remain active in the Council and are active authors and reviewers for our journal.
Doctor Ulf von Euler of the Karolinska Institute faculty in Stockholm was also honored by the CHBPR, when in 1967 he received the Stouffer Award for his important studies in which he identified noradrenaline and elucidated the mechanisms affecting catecholamine metabolism. Doctor von Euler shared the Stouffer Award with Doctors John W. Cornforth, Peter Holtz, and George J. Popjak.
Doctors Axelrod and von Euler, along with Sir Bernard Katz, were jointly honored by the Nobel Committee three years later, in 1970, for their important discoveries concerning the humoral neurotransmitters in nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release, and inactivation. Doctor Axelrod identified the enzymes that degrade chemical neurotransmitters within the nervous system after propagation of nerve impulses. Doctor von Euler’s work delineated the factors affecting catecholamine uptake and storage and release in and from adrenergic nerve granules in postganglionic nerve endings. Sir Bernard Katz, of the University College in London, received the Nobel Prize for his studies on the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Unfortunately, Sir Bernard did not participate in any of the Council programs. Nevertheless, we are pleased to feature all three scientists for their landmark contributions to our overall understanding of hypertension and control of arterial pressure.