© The Nobel Foundation
Julius Axelrod

American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

Julius Axelrod: Nobel Prize
in Physiology or
Medicine, 1970

by Seymour Sy Brody

Julius Axelrod was an American Jewish Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1970, which he shared with Sir Bernard Katz (United Kingdom) and Uif von Euler (Sweden) for their discoveries concerning the humoral transmitters in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inaction.

Julius Axelrod was born on May 30, 1912, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His parents were Molly (nee Leichtling) and Isadore Axelrod, who was a basket maker. He was a product of the New York City Educational system. After he graduated high school, he attended City College of New York, where he received a B.S. Degree in Biology with high honors, in1933.

Axelrod originally wanted to go to a medical school to become a medical doctor. He claimed that he was refused from many universities because he was Jewish and they had a quota system

In 1935, he worked briefly with the Department of Health and his left eye was injured when a bottle of ammonia exploded. He wore a patch over this eye for the rest of his life.

He then attended New York University an received a Master’s Degree in Chemistry 1941. Axelrod received his Ph.D. from George Washington University, 1955.

In 1946, he took a position working under Bernard Brodie T Goldwater Memorial Hospital. It was here, that launched him on his research career.

Axelrod was chief of the National Institute Mental Health’s pharmacology section from 1955 until when he retired in 1984.

He was married to Sally (nee Taub) Axelrod for 53 years when she died. They had two sons, Paul and Alfred.

Julius Axelrod received many awards and honors in his life:
• National Science Association Travel Award. 1958
• Corresponding Member of the German Pharmacological Society, 1959
• International Physiological Union Travel Award, 1961
• Otto Loewi Memorial Lecture, NYU Medical School, 1964
• Distinguished Research Assoc. Award, Res. Nerv. Mental Diseases, 1965
• Karl E. Paschkis Memorial Lecture, Philadelphia Endoctrine Society, 1966
• Honorary Sc.D., University of Chicago, 1966
• The Gairdne Foundation Award, 1967
• National Institutes of Health Lecture, 1967
• Nathanson Memorial Lecture, University of Southern California, 1968
• Distinguished Achievement Award, George Washington University, 1968
• Superior Service Award, DHEW, 1968
• Claude Bernard Professorship, University of Montreal, 1969
• Distinguished Service Award, DHEW, 1970
• Distinguished Service Award, Modern Medicine Magazine, 1970
Julius Axelrod was a member of many scientific organizations:
• Sigma XI
• International Brain Research Organization
• American Society Of Pharmacology and experimental Therapeutics
• American society of Biological Chemists
• American Association for the Advancement of Science
• A fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmalcology

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