Professor Bengt Samuelsson ForMemRS
Bengt Samuelsson is a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist. Although his research originally focused on cholesterol metabolism, he is best known for his work on prostaglandins. Bengt isolated, identified and analysed numerous prostaglandins — hormone-like compounds that influence a wide range of biological processes, including allergic reactions and the regulation of body temperature and blood pressure.
After determining the molecular structure of a prostaglandin, he realised that they derive from arachidonic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid. He went on to discover several new prostaglandins such as thromboxane, which influences the clotting of blood. His research has contributed to many fields of medicine, with particular significance in treating blood clots, inflammation and allergies.
Bengt’s awards and honours span nearly 50 years. He was twice awarded the Swedish Medical Association’s Jubilee Award, in 1968 and 1981, and he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1982 for his discoveries concerning prostaglandins, together with Sune Bergström and John Vane.