Bernardo Alberto Houssay (April 10, 1887 – September 21, 1971) was an Argentine physiologist.
In 1947, He received one half Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the role played by pituitary hormones in regulating the amount of blood sugar (glucose) in animals.
He is the first Latin American Nobel laureate in the sciences. He shared the prize with Carl Ferdinand Cori and Gerty Cori, who won for their discoveries regarding the role of glucose in carbohydrate metabolism.
Bernardo Alberto Houssay was born in Buenos Aires, to emigres from France, Albert and Clara Houssay.
He was admitted to the Pharmacy School at the University of Buenos Aires at 14 years of age and subsequently to the Medical School of the same University from 1904 to 1910, beginning when he was only 17 years old.
While a third year medical student, Houssay took up a post as a research and teaching assistant in the Chair of Physiology.
After graduating, he quickly developed and presented his M.D. thesis on the physiological activities of pituitary extracts, published in 1911, a theme he would pursue for the rest of his scientific career.
Since 1908 he was already an assistant lecturer in the same department, and immediately after his doctorate he took up the post of Professor of Physiology in the University's School of Veterinary Medicine.
Simultaneously, he started a private practice and as assistant physician at the municipal hospital of Buenos Aires.
In 1913 he became Chief Physician at the Alvear Hospital, and, in 1915, Chief of the Section of Experimental Pathology at the National Public Health Laboratories in Buenos Aires.
In 1919 Houssay was appointed to the chair of physiology at the University of Buenos Aires Medicine School, and, until 1943, he transformed and directed it into a highly respected research department in experimental physiology and medicine of international class.
In that year, however, the military dictatorship deprived him of his university posts, due to his liberal political ideas and Houssay was forced to re-establish his research lines and staff at a privately funded Instituto de Biologia y Medicina Experimental.
This situation, reinforced by a second dismissal by the Peronist government in 1945, was prolonged until 1955, when Peron was ousted from power and Houssay was reinstated in the University of Buenos Aires, where he remained till he died.
After this he was also director of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, from 1957 on.
Houssay’s worked in many fields of physiology, such as the nervous, digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems, but his main contribution, which was recognized by the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine of 1947.
Houssay demonstrated in the 1930s the diabetogenic effect anterior hypophysis extracts and the decrease in diabetes severity with anterior hypophysectomy.
Houssay published more than 600 scientific ok papers and several specialized books.
Besides the Nobel, Houssay won many distinctions and awards from the Universities of Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford and Paris and 15 other universities, as well as the Dale Medal of the Society for Endocrinology in 1960.
Houssay was also very active as a scientific leader and promoter of the advancement of scientific research and medical education, in Argentina as well as in Latin America.
Houssay was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1943.
1564 - 1616
1803 – 1882
1854 – 1900
1942 – 2016
1928 – 2014
1835 – 1910
1869 – 1948
1884 – 1962
1898 – 1963
1929 – 1993
1879 – 1955
1809 – 1865
1807 – 1870
1800 – 1859
1795 – 1821
1755 – 1793
1989 – 2011
1943 – 2001
1815 – 1902
1929 – 1994
1767 – 1848