Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dr. Earl Sutherland

Vanderbilt Nobel Laurette Dr. Earl Sutherland

Thirty-seven years ago this week (October 14, 1971), the Vanderbilt campus was abuzz about an unprecedented event.

For the first time in the nearly 100-year history of the University, a member of the faculty had been honored with a Nobel Prize.

Dr. Earl Sutherland had come to Vanderbilt in 1963 as a researcher and professor of Physiology at the School of Medicine.

He was honored with the 1971 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery and research of what became known as "cyclic AMP", a substance found in every human cell that is vital to the way hormones work.

Here's the way the story was covered on NBC Nightly News with John Chancellor....

Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, within two years after receiving this highest honor, Dr. Sutherland left the University to become a distinguished professor of biochemistry at the University of Miami (FL) Medical School.

It was there that Dr. Sutherland died on March 9, 1974.

Since that time, Vanderbilt has been honored with one other faculty member becoming a Nobel Laurette in Medicine. Dr. Stanley Cohen, a biochemist, came to the University in 1959 from Washington University in St. Louis, where he and a colleague had extensively researched cell-growth factors in animals. By the time Dr. Cohen and his colleague received their Nobel recognition in 1986, their work had led to better treatment for burn victims and cancer patients.


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