Dr Robert Francis Furchgott

Dr Robert Francis Furchgott

Birth
Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
Death 19 May 2009 (aged 92)
Seattle, King County, Washington, USA
Burial Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 37400563 · View Source
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Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine. A physiologist, he was honored for his work with the gas Nitric Oxide (NO) which led to the development of Viagra. Raised initially in Charleston, South Carolina, he graduated from Orangeburg High School, earned a degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, then received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Northwestern University in 1940. After teaching at Cornell University, he was professor of pharmacology at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis from 1949 until 1956, then from 1956 thru 1982 was chairman of pharmacology at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. In 1978 he discovered Endothelium-Derived Relaxing Factor (EDRF) which regulates smooth muscles in blood vessel walls, then later was to find that EDRF is synonymous with NO; these discoveries were later to form the basis for Viagra, originally intended to be a blood pressure medication but found during testing to have an interesting 'side effect', and lead to his receipt of the 1996 Albert Lasker Award and to his sharing the 1998 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. In addition to its well-known primary indication Viagra is also used to treat pulmonary hypertension, a fatal disease of infants and young children. Dr. Furchgott stepped-down as chairman in 1982, but remained a professor until 1989; following retirement he taught at the University of Miami Medical School until returning to Charleston in 2002. He moved into a retirement home in 2004, remained a visiting professor at the Medical University of South Carolina as long as he was able, and spent his final year at his daughter's home in Seattle.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 23 May 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 37400563
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Robert Francis Furchgott (4 Jun 1916–19 May 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 37400563, citing Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Cemetery, Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .