George H. Hitchings
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1988
Born: 18 April 1905, Hoquiam, WA, USA
Died: 27 February 1998, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Wellcome Research Laboratories, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment."
Prize share: 1/3
George Hitchings and Gertrude Elion's research revolutionized both the development of new pharmaceuticals and the field of medicine in general. Previously, pharmaceuticals had primarily been produced from natural substances. During the 1950s, George Hitchings and Gertrude Elion developed a systematic method for producing drugs based on knowledge of biochemistry and diseases. One of the first drugs produced by the pair was for leukemia and helped many children with the disease to survive. Other drugs they created have been used to fight malaria, infections, and gout, as well as help with organ transplantations.
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.