Earl W. Sutherland, Jr.
Born: 19 November 1915, Burlingame, KS, USA
Died: 9 March 1974, Miami, FL, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
Prize motivation: "for his discoveries concerning the mechanisms of the action of hormones"
Field: cell physiology, endocrinology, metabolism
Prize share: 1/1
Signals between different parts of the body are conveyed by small electrical impulses and by chemical substances, hormones and signal substances. Communication also takes place between different cell parts. Earl Sutherland investigated how hormones, especially adrenaline, work. He showed how signals from one cell to another are conveyed by a messenger - the hormone - and how signals within the cell are then conveyed by another messenger. Around 1960 he showed how cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) serves as the secondary messenger within the cell.
"for their discoveries relating to chemical transmission of nerve impulses"
"for their discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane"
"for their discovery of G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells"