Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine Professor Ferid Murad Gives Lecture in TCD

Posted on: 20 September 2007

The Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology and Medicine, Professor Ferid Murad,  gave a lecture on the ‘Role of Nitric Oxide and Cyclic GMP in Cell Signaling and Drug Development’ in Trinity College Dublin on  Wednesday, September 19th  last. The lecture was hosted by the TCD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and was introduced by Professor Marek Radomski.

Professor Murad who is currently based in the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, the University of Texas-Houston, won the Nobel Prize in 1998 along with Robert Furchgott and Louis Ignarro for their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system.

 Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas that transmits signals in the organism. Signal transmission by a gas that is produced by one cell, penetrates through membranes and regulates the function of another cell represents an entirely new principle for signaling in biological systems.  

Murad’s discoveries has had immense importance in today’s medicine and patient care.  Large efforts in drug discovery are currently aimed at generating more powerful and selective cardiac drugs based on the new knowledge of nitric oxide as a signal molecule. Intensive care patients can be treated by inhalation of nitric oxide gas. Scientists are also currently testing whether nitric oxide can be used to stop the growth of tumours since this gas can induce programmed cell death, apoptosis. Inflammatory diseases can be revealed by analysing the production of nitric oxide from  lungs and intestines and this is used for diagnosing asthma, colitis, and other diseases.