Julius Axelrod

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Axelrod, Julius

Axelrod, Julius (ăkˈsəlrŏd), 1912–2004, American biochemist whose work was influential in the development of pharmaceuticals, b. New York City, grad. City College, N.Y. (B.S. 1933), New York Univ. (M.S. 1941), George Washington Univ. (Ph.D. 1955). Axelrod spent much of his career at the National Institutes of Health (1949–84), where from 1955 to 1984 he was chief of the Section on Pharmacology, Laboratory of Science, at the National Institute of Mental Health. Along with Bernard Katz and Ulf von Euler, Axelrod was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for work on neurotransmitters. During the late 1950s and early 1960s Axelrod's investigations into the role of norepinephrine in brain chemistry led to an understanding of how neurotransmitters work and how their levels are regulated. This research made possible the development of the antidepressants and antianxiety drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In the 1940s Axelrod helped identify the analgesic properties of acetaminophen, and in the 1960s he explained the nature of melatonin and the role of it and the pineal gland played in regulating biological rhythms (see rhythm, biological).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Axelrod, Julius


Born May 30, 1912, in New York. American physiologist and pharmacologist. Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (1971).

Axelrod received his B.S. from City College in New York in 1933, and he later received his Ph.D. He performed research at New York University from 1945 to 1949. He joined the staff of the National Heart Institute in Bethesda, Md., in 1949 and was appointed head of the pharmacology section of the National Institute of Mental Health in 1955.

Axelrod’s principal works deal with the metabolism of norepinephrine; he discovered the basic way in which norepinephrine is rendered inactive. He also studied the role of disrupted catecholamine metabolism in the pathogenesis of hypertonia and certain diseases of the nervous system.

Axelrod shared a Nobel Prize with B. Katz and U. von Euler in 1970.


“Metabolism of Epinephrine and Other Sympathomimetic Amines.” Physiological Review, 1959, vol. 39.
“Methylation Reactions in the Formation and Metabolism of Catecholamines and Other Biogenic Amines.” Pharmacological Reviews, 1966, vol. 18.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Axelrod, Julius

(1912–  ) pharmacologist; born in New York City. He was a chemist at the Laboratory of Industrial Hygiene (New York City) (1935–45), and a research associate at Goldwater Memorial Hospital (New York City) (1946–49). He became a biochemist for the National Heart Institute (1949–55), then joined the National Institute for Mental Health (1955–84), remaining as a guest worker (1984). His studies of neurotransmission of adrenalin and amphetamines led to his investigations into psychoactive drugs for treatment of mental illness, including schizophrenia. He shared the 1970 Nobel Prize for physiology for his work on chemical neurotransmission and pharmacological interactions.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Steve Brodie, an internationally lauded scientific genius in neuropsychochemistry, mentored Drs Erminio Costa, Julius Axelrod, Candace Pert, and Sol Snyder in his laboratory.
However, its pain-relieving powers were not uncovered until 1948, when the New York City Department of Health hired chemist Bernard Brodie and Nobel Prize winner Julius Axelrod to find out more.
Arrow, Stanford University, 1972-Economics; Julius Axelrod, National Institutes of Health, 1972-Physiology or Medicine; David Baltimore, California Institute of Technology, 1975-Physiology or Medicine; Paul Berg, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1980-Chemistry; J.