Earl W. Sutherland, Jr.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1971
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”
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.