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Loewi, Otto(lō`ē), 1873–1961, American physiologist and pharmacologist, b. Frankfurt, Germany. He was professor of pharmacology (1909–38) at the Univ. of Graz, Austria, until forced into exile after the Nazi purge of professors; from 1940 he was professor of pharmacology at the college of medicine of New York Univ. For his discovery of the chemical transmission of nerve impulses he shared the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sir Henry Dale. Loewi investigated the physiology and pharmacology of metabolism, the kidneys, the heart, and the nervous system. In 1954 he was made a member of the Royal Society of London.
Born June 3, 1873, in Frankfurt-am-Main; died Dec. 25, 1961, in New York. Austrian physiologist and pharmacologist; doctor of medicine (1896).
Loewi was professor at the University of Graz from 1909 to 1938. He became a professor at the medical school of New York University in 1940. Loewi is recognized as one of the founders of the chemical transfer theory of nervous excitation. He demonstrated that physiologically active substances called mediators, which are secreted by nerve endings, play a role in the regulation of cardiac activity. Loewi was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1936 (jointly with H. Dale) for his work on the role of acetylcholine in the transfer of neural impulses.