Julius Axelrod Dies at 92; Won Nobel in Medicine

From the New York Times:

31axel184 Dr. Axelrod shared the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with two other scientists, Dr. Bernard Katz of Britain and Prof. Ulf von Euler of Sweden. Their work was essential to the development of psychiatric drugs and others and led directly to the development of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, the class of antidepressants that includes Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil.

The Nobel Foundation cited the men “for their discoveries concerning the transmitters in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation.” But Dr. Axelrod’s influence extended far beyond the discoveries related to the prize.

In the 1940’s, even before receiving his doctorate in pharmacology, Dr. Axelrod played a major role in identifying acetaminophen as the pain-relieving chemical in a common headache treatment of the day.

The newly discovered substance was later developed and marketed by Johnson & Johnson under the brand name Tylenol.

More here.