Dr. Roger Guillemin, Nobel-winning neuroendocrinologist, dies at 100

Roger Guillemin, MD, PhD, a Nobel Prize-winning neuroendocrinologist whose work on hormones helped lead to the development of birth control pills and treatments for cancer, died Feb. 21 at 100, The Washington Post reported.

Dr. Guillemin was a founder of the neuroendocrinology field. In 1977 he shared a Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, PhD, and Andrew Schally, PhD.

Dr. Guillemin was the first to find the thyrotropin-releasing hormone, which is involved in the pituitary gland's directions to the thyroid. He was also credited with finding the gonadotropin-release hormone, which tells the pituitary gland to direct the ovaries and testes, and the discovery sped understanding of the hormonal control of the menstrual cycle and the development of birth control pills and hormonal therapies for prostate cancer. He also identified somatostatin, which is the basis for antinausea drug Zofran and instrumental in developing therapies for neuroendocrine pancreatic and other hormone-responsive tumors. His discoveries increased understanding of the endocrine system.

He retired from active research in 1989,but served as interim president of the San Diego-based Salk Institute from 2007 to 2009.

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