Ulf Svante von Euler (7 February 1905 – 9 March 1983) was a Swedish physiologist and pharmacologist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1970.

Life and Career

He was born on 7 February 1905, in Stockholm, Sweden. His father, Hans Karl August Simon von Euler-Chelpin, was a German-born Swedish biochemist, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1929.

15 February: Remembering Hans von Euler Chelpin on Birth Anniversary

He did his schooling first in Stockholm and then in Karlstad. He studied medicine at Karolinska Institute, one of the best medical schools in the world, in 1922.

At that time, von Euler began working with Robin Fåhraeus on blood sedimentation and rheology. He later studied vasoconstriction pathophysiology.

He started working in 1926 as an assistant under Göran Liljestrand in the Department of Pharmacology. In 1930, he got his doctorate from the same institute while working on his thesis.

Von Euler’s early research focused on the physiology of the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate and digestion. He discovered that adrenaline and noradrenaline are released by the adrenal gland and act as hormones, as well as neurotransmitters in the sympathetic nervous system.

Von Euler’s work on neurotransmitters laid the foundation for the development of drugs that target specific neurotransmitter systems, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics. He also made important contributions to the understanding of prostaglandins, which are lipid molecules that regulate inflammation and other physiological processes.

Later, von Euler turned his attention to the central nervous system and investigated the role of neurotransmitters in the transmission of signals between neurons. He discovered that acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter in the parasympathetic nervous system and demonstrated that other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, also play important roles in the brain.

He died on 9 March 1983, in Stockholm, Sweden.


He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1970 along with Sir Bernard Katz and Julius Axelrod, for their work on the chemical transmission of nerve impulses.

von Euler received some others numerous honors and awards for his scientific contributions, including the Royal Society of London’s Royal Medal in 1975 and the Copley Medal in 1979.

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