Ulf von Euler
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1970
Born: 7 February 1905, Stockholm, Sweden
Died: 9 March 1983, Stockholm, Sweden
Affiliation at the time of the award: Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning the humoral transmittors in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation."
Prize share: 1/3
Human and animal nervous systems consist of a large variety of cells with long nerve fibers. Small electrical currents and special chemical substances (neurotransmitters) are passed between cells through contacts (synapses). In 1947 Ulf von Euler discovered the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which plays an important role in producing fight-or-flight signals. He subsequently showed that norepinephrine is formed and stored in packages, or vesicles, sent between neurons via synapses.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.