Find A PhysicianHome  |  Library  |  myDownstate  |  Newsroom  |  A-Z Guide  |  E-mail  |  Contact Us  |  Directions
curve gif

Nobel Laureate in Medicine

On October 12, 1998, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Robert Furchgott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the role that nitric oxide (NO) plays in the contraction and dilation of blood vessels. Dr. Furchgott shared the prize with two other researchers, Ferid Murad, of Houston, and Louis J. Ignarro, of Los Angeles.

Dr. Furchgott is SUNY Downstate’s first Nobel Laureate and also the first Nobel Laureate within the State University of New York to have conducted his research on a SUNY campus. His remarkable finding that a simple molecule like NO, which outside the body is a common air pollutant, is an important signal messenger touched off an “avalanche of research activities in many different laboratories around the world,” according to the Nobel Assembly.

Today, Dr. Furchgott’s ground-breaking findings are being applied by other researchers to improve cardiovascular health, identify promising cancer treatments, treat impotence and shock, and diagnoses inflammatory diseases like asthma and colitis.