Elion, Gertrude B.


Elion, Gertrude B.

▪ American scientist
in full  Gertrude Belle Elion  
born Jan. 23, 1918, New York, N.Y., U.S.
died Feb. 21, 1999, Chapel Hill, N.C.
 American pharmacologist who, along with George H. Hitchings (Hitchings, George Herbert) and Sir James W. Black (Black, Sir James), received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1988 for their development of drugs used to treat several major diseases.

      Elion was the daughter of immigrants. She graduated from Hunter College in New York City with a degree in biochemistry in 1937. Unable to obtain a graduate research position because she was a woman, she found work as a lab assistant at the New York Hospital School of Nursing (1937), an assistant organic chemist at the Denver Chemical Manufacturing Company (1938–39), a chemistry and physics teacher in New York City high schools (1940–42), and a research chemist at Johnson & Johnson (1943–44). During this time she also took classes at New York University (M.S., 1941). Unable to devote herself to full-time studies, Elion never received a Ph.D.

      In 1944 Elion joined the Burroughs Wellcome Laboratories (later part of Glaxo Wellcome; today known as GlaxoSmithKline). There she was first the assistant and then the colleague of Hitchings, with whom she worked for the next four decades. Elion and Hitchings developed an array of new drugs (drug) that were effective against leukemia, autoimmune disorders, urinary-tract infections, gout, malaria, and viral herpes. Their success was due primarily to their innovative research methods, which marked a radical departure from the trial-and-error approach taken by previous pharmacologists. Elion and Hitchings pointedly examined the difference between the biochemistry of normal human cells and those of cancer cells, bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens (disease-causing agents). They then used this information to formulate drugs that could kill or inhibit the reproduction of a particular pathogen, leaving the human host's normal cells undamaged. The two researchers' new emphasis on understanding basic biochemical and physiological processes enabled them to eliminate much guesswork and wasted effort typical previously in developing new therapeutic drugs.

      Though Elion officially retired in 1983, she helped oversee the development of azidothymidine (AZT), the first drug used in the treatment of AIDS. In 1991 she was awarded a National Medal of Science and was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Elion, Gertrude B. — ► (1918 99) Bioquímica estadounidense. Fue premio Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1988 por el descubrimiento de importantes principios de terapéutica médica …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • ELION, GERTRUDE BELL — (1918–1999), U.S. pharmacologist and Nobel Prize laureate. Elion was born in New York City. She studied chemistry at Hunter College and NYU, where she obtained her master of science degree in 1941. After a series of intellectually less… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Elion, Gertrude Belle — ▪ 2000       American biochemist (b. Jan. 23, 1918, New York, N.Y. d. Feb. 21, 1999, Chapel Hill, N.C.), undertook, with George H. Hitchings, a new approach to drug development that led to the formulation of medicines for such diseases as… …   Universalium

  • Elion,Gertrude Belle — El·i·on (ĕlʹē ən, ŏn ), Gertrude Belle. 1918 1999. American drug researcher. She shared a 1988 Nobel Prize for developing drugs to treat leukemia and gout. * * * …   Universalium

  • Elion, Gertrude (Belle) — born Jan. 23, 1918, New York, N.Y., U.S. died Feb. 21, 1999, Chapel Hill, N.C. U.S. pharmacologist. She graduated from Hunter College. Unable to find a research position because of her sex, she initially taught high school chemistry. In 1944 she… …   Universalium

  • Elion, Gertrude (Belle) — (23 ene. 1918, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.–21 feb. 1999, Chapel Hill, N.C.). Farmacóloga estadounidense. Se graduó en el Hunter College. Como no encontraba un puesto de investigadora por su condición de mujer, enseñó inicialmente química en la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Elion — Elion, Gertrude B …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gertrude B. Elion — Gertrude Elion Gertrude Elion Naissance 23 janvier 1918 New York (États Unis) Décès 21 février 1999 Research Triangle (États Unis) Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gertrude Belle Elion — (Nueva York, 23 de enero de 1918 – Carolina del Norte, 21 de febrero de 1999) fue una bioquímica y farmacóloga norteamericana, que recibió en 1988 el Premio Nobel de Fisiología y Medicina. Nacida en la ciudad de Nueva …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gertrude B. Elion — Gertrude Belle Elion (* 23. Januar 1918 in New York; † 21. Februar 1999 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina) war eine amerikanische Biochemikerin und Pharmakologin. Gertrud Elion leitete seit 1966 die Abteilung für experimentelle Therapie der Wellcome …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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