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Paul Greengard

Born: 11-Dec-1925
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 13-Apr-2019
Location of death: Manhattan, NY
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Signal transduction in the nervous system

Military service: US Navy

Jewish by heredity, Paul Greengard was raised Episcopalian after his mother died in childbirth and his father remarried. After college he was offered a graduate school scholarship funded by the Atomic Energy Administration, and he needed the financial assistance. Greengard, however, turned it down, unwilling to be involved in weapons-based research. Instead he went into biophysics, studied under Nobel laureate Haldan K. Hartline, and spent his career unraveling the mysteries of how nerve cells function and communicate with each other.

Asked to explain what he had done to win the Nobel Prize in 2000, Greengard replied, "Damned if I know," chuckled, and added "Let me think about this just for a minute." Greengard's work showed how the nervous system interacts with dopamine and other neurotransmitters, and led to the development of important new medications for neurological and psychiatric disorders. His Nobel honors were shared with Swedish researcher Arvid Carlsson and Eric R. Kandel of Columbia University, for their related but independent work.

He used his Nobel cash endowment -- several hundred thousand dollars -- to fund the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, named in honor of the mother he never knew. The award is now presented annually by Rockefeller University, honoring the accomplishments of women in science. His wife, Ursula von Rydingsvard, is a well-known sculptor.

Father: Benjamin Greengard (vaudeville comedian, b. 1891, d.)
Mother: Pearl Meister Greengard (biological, b. 1898, m. 1922, d. 1925 childbirth)
Sister: Linda Greengard
Sister: Chris Chase (author, journalist, d. 2013)
Wife: (div., two sons)
Son: Claude Greengard
Son: Leslie Greengard
Wife: Ursula von Rydingsvard (sculptor, m. 1985, until his death)

    University: BS Mathematics and Physics, Hamilton College (1948)
    Scholar: Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania (1948-49)
    University: PhD Biophysics, Johns Hopkins University (1953)
    Scholar: Pharmacology, University of London (1953-56)
    Scholar: Cambridge University (1954)
    Scholar: University of Amsterdam (1955)
    Scholar: National Institutes of Health (1956-59)
    Professor: Pharmacology, Yeshiva University (1961-67)
    Professor: Physiology, Vanderbilt University (1967-68)
    Professor: Pharmacology, Yale University (1968-83)
    Professor: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Rockefeller University (1983-)

    Dickson Prize 1977
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 2000 (with Arvid Carlsson and Eric R. Kandel)
    Geigy Biochemist (1959-67)
    German Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry
    Russian Ancestry

Author of books:
New Assay Methods for Cyclic Nucleotides (1972, with G. Alan Robison and Rodolfo Paoletti)
Physiology and Pharmacology of Cyclic AMP (1972, with G. Alan Robison and Rodolfo Paoletti)
Cyclic Nucleotides, Phosphorylated Proteins, and Neuronal Function (1978)
Advances in Cyclic Nucleotide Research (1979, with Gary Brooker and G. Alan Robison)
Protein Phosphorylation in the Nervous System (1984, with Eric J. Nestler)

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