Vane, Sir John Robert

Vane, Sir John Robert,

1927–2004, British pharmacologist, Ph.D. Oxford, 1953. With B. I. SamuelssonSamuelsson, Bengt Ingemar,
1934–, Swedish biochemist, grad. Karolinska Institute (Ph.D. 1960, M.D. 1961). He was a professor at the Karolinska Institute from 1962 to 1966 and again from 1973; from 1967 to 1972 he was on the faculty at the Royal Veterinary College,
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 and Sune K. BergströmBergström, Sune Karl
, 1916–2004, Swedish biochemist, grad. Karolinska Institute (Ph.D., M.D., 1944). With his former pupil B. I. Samuelsson and John R. Vane, he was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
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, Vane was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The trio won the prize for their identification and description of various compounds known as prostaglandinsprostaglandin
, any of a group of about a dozen compounds synthesized from fatty acids in mammals as well as in lower animals. Prostaglandins are highly potent substances that are not stored but are produced as needed by cell membranes in virtually every body tissue.
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, which affect such functions as blood pressure and body temperature. Vane's work helped explain the effects on the body of aspirinaspirin,
acetyl derivative of salicylic acid (see salicylate) that is used to lower fever, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and thin the blood. Common conditions treated with aspirin include headache, muscle and joint pain, and the inflammation caused by rheumatic fever and
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, the world's most widely used drug and also contributed to the discovery and development of cox-1 and cox-2 inhibitors (see nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugnonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug,
a drug that suppresses inflammation in a manner similar to steroids, but without the side effects of steroids; commonly referred to by the acronym NSAID .
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). He was knighted in 1984.
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