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Fellows Directory

Salvador Moncada

Salvador Moncada

Sir Salvador Moncada FMedSci FRS


Elected: 1988


Salvador Moncada is a pharmacologist and medical scientist with a wide range of research achievements across the areas of inflammation, vascular biology and cell growth. In the 1990s, he was the most cited British scientist and the second most cited scientist in the world.

He helped show that aspirin and aspirin-like drugs inhibit the biosynthesis of prostaglandins, thus explaining their mechanism of action. Subsequently, he led the team that discovered prostacyclin - a vasodilator and antiplatelet agent now used to treat life-threatening primary pulmonary hypertension. His discovery that the body produces nitric oxide helped unravel the major role this substance plays in the cardiovascular, nervous and immunological systems and explained why nitroglycerin - a potent vasodilator when metabolised to nitric oxide - effectively treats angina.

During his many years in pharmacological research, Salvador oversaw development of drugs to treat malaria, epilepsy, migraine and cancer. More recently he has also worked in cancer research, investigating metabolic changes that occur during cell replication. He is the recipient of many scientific honours and awards, including becoming a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)


Inflammation, Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, cancer


  • Croonian Medal and Lecture

    On 'Adventures in vascular biology'.

  • Royal Medals

    For his contributions to pharmacology and the discovery of basic mechanisms of signal transmission relevant to drug action.

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