John R. Vane life and biography

John R. Vane picture, image, poster

John R. Vane biography

Date of birth : 1927-03-29
Date of death : 2004-11-19
Birthplace : Tardebigg, Worcestershire,England
Nationality : English
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-12-15
Credited as : pharmacist, famous for his work on aspirin, Nobel laureate

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John Robert Vane (29 March 1927 – 19 November 2004) was an English pharmacologist and Nobel Laureate, born in Tardebigg, Worcestershire. His father was the son of Russian immigrants and his mother came from a Worcestershire farming family.

Even before John R. Vane was born, aspirin was the world's most widely-used pain reliever, but the reason why it works was not fully understood. Vane discovered that the body's production of certain prostaglandins is slowed by aspirin, and since these specific prostaglandins are associated with pain, fever, and inflammation, his findings finally explained aspirin's medical effectiveness. Putting his discovery in plain English, Vane said, "All prostaglandins are not 'good boys', and some of them are 'bad boys' -- pain producers, which are better eliminated."

He also discovered prostacyclin, which relaxes blood vessels, and showed that aspirin is also therapeutic for heart and blood vessel disease. His work led to the development of cox-2 inhibitors for pain and inflammation, and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE inhibitors) for lowering blood pressure.

Vane was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1982, sharing the recognition with Sune K. Bergström and Bengt I. Samuelsson, though Vane's work was conducted independently of collaborations. In 1984 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. In his later career, he founded the William Harvey Research Institute, which raises and administers funds for cardiovascular research, and is now affiliated with the University of London.

Author of books:
-Metabolic Functions of the Lung (1977, with Y. S. Bakhle)
-Prostacyclin (1979, with Sune K. Bergström)
-Aspirin and other salicylates (1992, with Regina M. Botting)

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