Gilman, Alfred Goodman

Gilman, Alfred Goodman, 1941–2015, American biochemist, b. New Haven, Conn., M.D., Ph.D. Case Western Reserve Univ., 1969. He taught at the Univ. of Virginia (1971–1981) before becoming a professor at the Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He later became the dean of the medical school (2004) and also executive vice president for academic affairs and provost (2006) of the Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center before retiring in 2009. From 2009 to 2012 he was chief scientific officer of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Following Martin Rodbell's discovery that a transducer of some kind facilitates communication within the cell, Gilman uncovered the chemical nature of the transducer. Now known as G-proteins because they bind guanosine triphosphate (GTP), these transducers activate various cellular amplifier systems. The findings of Gilman and Rodbell have been medically significant, as many symptoms of disease can be attributed to altered G-protein function, and Rodbell and Gilman shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their work. Gilman also was the primary editor of three editions (1980, 1985, 1990) of Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, a standard pharmacology textbook originally coedited by his father, Alfred Z. Gilman.

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