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March 22, 2010
Sir James Black, 1924-2010
One of the giants of medicinal chemistry has died today at the age of 85 - Sir James Black, who pioneered beta-adrenoceptor antagonists and many other areas in drug discovery. Keep in mind that earlier in his career, many people thought of the concept of a "receptor" as an abstract placeholder, not necessarily something with any physical meaning. We've come a long way since then, and his work is one of the big reasons why.
He was part of the "pure medicinal chemistry" Nobel Prize award of 1988, along with George Hitchings and Gertrude Elion. There's a good interview with him at that Nobel site, and here's a tribute to him on YouTube.
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