Monday, April 10, 2006

'Gland Detective'


Physiologist Bernardo Houssay was born on this day in 1887 in Buenos Aires.

For his discovery of feedback mechanisms between the endocrine glands, in 1947 Houssay shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with husband-and-wife team Carl and Gerty Cori.

A professor at the University of Buenos Aires, Houssay was dismissed in 1946 by Argentinian president Juan Peron for supporting democratic principles. When Houssay won the Nobel Prize the following year, Peron considered it a personal affront by the Nobel committee, and launched a smear campaign against Houssay, who was sarcastically referred to as the "gland detective" in Peronist newspapers. Houssay was reinstated with the end of Peron's first regime in 1955. Houssay died in 1971, two years before Peron regained power for the second and last time.

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