Furchgott, Robert F(rancis)


Furchgott, Robert F(rancis)
born June 4, 1916, Charleston, S.C., U.S.

U.S. pharmacologist.

He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University. With Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad, he found that nitric oxide acts as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system. Furchgott demonstrated that cells in the endothelium of blood vessels produce a molecule called endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF), which signals smooth muscle cells in blood vessel walls to relax, dilating the vessels. Ignarro later concluded that EDRF was nitric oxide. The research done by Furchgott, Murad, and Ignarro was key to the development of the drug Viagra, which treats impotence. The three men shared a 1998 Nobel Prize.

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Universalium. 2010.

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