Gilman, Alfred G.

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GILMAN, ALFRED G. (1941– ), U.S. pharmacologist and Nobel laureate in medicine. Gilman was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and received his B.Sc. in biochemistry from Yale in 1962 and M.D. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, in 1969. He was a research associate at the National Institutes of Health, in 1969–71, and worked at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, in 1971–81, where he became professor of pharmacology. From 1981 he was professor and chairman of the department of pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Gilman's life-long research interests concern the ways in which cells respond to external stimuli transmitted from the surrounding plasma membrane. Sutherland's discovery of the cyclic amp system introduced the concept of transduction in the plasma membrane and the generation of a second messenger initiating cellular responses. The discovery of the G protein family (shorthand for guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory proteins) by Gilman and his colleagues greatly expanded knowledge of the plasma membrane events which signal appropriate responses to an enormous range of external stimuli including hormones and bacterial toxins. In 1994 he and Martin Rodbell were awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine for this work. His subsequent work largely concerned the distribution and properties of the different members of the G protein family, and the cyclic amp system. Gilman took over the editorship of the world's best-known textbook of pharmacology (The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics) from his distinguished pharmacologist father. His honors include membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Gairdner and Lasker Awards.

[Michael Denman (2nd ed.)]

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Gilman, Alfred G.

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