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2016 Hall of Fame honours inspirational pharmacologists from around the world

Published: 17 Nov 2016 in Society news

The British Pharmacological Society today announced that its 3,500+ members from around the world voted to induct five influential pharmacologists into its Pharmacology Hall of Fame. This year, the following distinguished individuals were selected:

The Pharmacology Hall of Fame initiative is a posthumous honour that recognises scientists who influence and inspire pharmacologists based upon distinction and peer recognition in science and/or long and valuable service to the British Pharmacological Society.

The five individuals honoured in 2016 span three continents– North America, Europe and Australasia – and this list includes three Nobel Prize winners, one of whom is best known for dreaming of his Nobel Prize winning experiment.

The 2016 Pharmacology Hall of Fame inductees will be unveiled by the British Pharmacological Society this evening at a special reception in London. Since the initiative began in 2013, 20 pharmacologists have been voted in by the British Pharmacological Society membership.

The Pharmacology Hall of Fame will be showcased as part of the Society’s ongoing educational work, including scientific meetings, workshops and science fairs across the UK.

Notes to editors

Additional quotes:

Fred and Paul Axelrod, the sons of Julius Axelrod:

“Our father, Julius Axelrod, would always say he was a pharmacologist when asked what kind of scientist he was...We recall that he always valued basic research and felt it was a mistake to look at problems only from an applied research perspective. Looking at issues from all perspectives was always important to him.”

Professor Thomas Greisbacher, University of Graz, on Otto Loewi:

“Having been introduced to pharmacology by Otto Loewi’s indirect successor as Head of the Department of Pharmacology of the Medical Faculty of the University of Graz, Fred Lembeck (who also was the biographer of Otto Loewi), it is an immense delight to see Loewi being introduced into the British Pharmacological Society’s Pharmacology Hall of Fame. Loewi’s discoveries in research are still today the basis of a large proportion of drugs used in medicine and thus, he is a shining example for us researchers even at present. As for his passion as a teacher I would like to add another quote from Loewi’s autobiography: ‘When a student became restless during a lecture, I always felt that it was not his fault but my own.’”

Ilse Rand, wife of Michael Rand:

“Michael would likely be chuffed by the Society's acclamation, and his family feel that he would, like ourselves, have appreciated the honour conferred on him for the value he placed on thoughtful teaching and research in his chosen (and loved) field of study and his comrades in his endeavours.”

Professor Jill Stephenson, wife of R P (‘Steve’) Stephenson:

“Steve was afforded some tokens of professional recognition during his lifetime. He was always highly gratified when this happened. His career as a pharmacologist was very important to him. He was a pillar of the British Pharmacological Society, and his association with it was a source of interest and pleasure. He would have been delighted to be honoured by the Society through admission to its Pharmacology Hall of Fame. I am very proud of his achievements and grateful to the Society for honouring him.”