Louis Ignarro
  • 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine


American pharmacologist and professor emeritus of pharmacology at the UCLA School of Medicine's
department of molecular and medical pharmacology. Founder of the Nitric Oxide Society, and founder and editor-in-chief of Nitric Oxide Biology and Chemistry. He is a co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Robert Furchgott and Ferid Murad "for their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system".

Education and Work Experience

1962-1968, B.S. in Pharmacy, Columbia University; Ph.D. in Pharmacology, University of Minnesota School of Medicine; Post Ph.D in Chemical pharmacology, National Institutes of Health
1979-1985, Professor of pharmacology at Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans
1985-Present, Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology at the UCLA

Honors and Awards

1998, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
1999, Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences
1999, Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2011, Member of the United States Institute of Medicine

Major Academic Achievements

Ferid Murad's studies of how nitroglycerin and nitric oxide (NO) cause blood vessels to expand inspired Louis Ignarro to conduct studies of his own at the end of the 1970s. He also looked for the substance that, according to Robert Furchgott, was formed in the innermost layer of blood vessels and produced a similar effect. Simultaneously with Robert Furchgott, but independently of him, Louis Ignarro revealed in 1986 that NO was this substance. The discovery has made possible new medications, such as those used to treat heart and cardiovascular diseases and impotence.