Andrew V. Schally

Andrew V. Schally was born on November 30, 1926 in Wilno, Poland (now Lithuania). Schally fled Poland with his family in 1939. He attended the University of London and worked for three years at the National Institute for Medical Research in London before travelling to Montreal to enter McGill University. He graduated in 1955 and two years later took a Ph.D. in biochemistry. From 1957 to 1962 he was associated with Baylor University in Houston, Texas, and in the latter year he became chief of endocrine and polypeptide laboratories at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in New Orleans. At the same time he joined the medical faculty of the Tulane University School of Medicine, becoming professor in 1967. He became senior medical investigator with the Veterans Administration in 1973. Schally became a U.S. citizen in 1962. In 1977, Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., Sc.D., MDHC, endocrinologist, clinical professor of medicine and chief of experimental medicine, was one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for his pioneering work in the field of peptide hormone research. Among Schally's chief accomplishments were the synthesis of TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone), the isolation and synthesis of LH-RH (luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone), and studies of the action of somatostatin.

GnRH (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone), is a small hormone composed of ten amino acids and controls release of hormones from the anterior pituitary gland (Follicle Stimulatind Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH)) that affect ovarian function. In Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) is a decapeptide that is synthesized and stored in the medial basal hypothalamus. The structure and synthesis of GnRH were first reported in 1971 by Roger Guillemen and Andrew Schally, who eventually received and shared the Nobel Prize for this discovery. GnRH has been sequenced as: pyro-Glu1-His2-TRP3-Ser4-Tyr5-Gly6-Leu7-Arg8-Pro9-Glu10-NH2. In the human menstrual cycle, gonadotropin pulses result from pulses of GnRH released from hypothalamic neurosecretory cells into the pituitary portal circulation. GnRH binds to specific receptors (60 kD glycoprotein) distributed on the cell surface of the gonadotrope. Coupling of GnRH to its receptor results in internalization and subsequent lysosomal degradation of the hormone-receptor complex. Liberated receptors are subsequently recycled to the cell surface, in part by up-regulation by GnRH with a concomittant increase in GnRH binding capacity. If the gonadotrope is exposed to GnRH for a prolonged period of time, down-regulation and desensitization occur and gonadotropin secretion is suppressed. Desensitization is the dissociation of GnRH-receptor binding from gonadotropin release. Down-regulation infers a decreased number of receptors available for GnRH binding.

Source: Treatment of Endometriosis by Richard W. Tureck

Andrew Schally at Tulane University in New Orelans (Louisiana) continues to maintain considerable National Institutes of Health funding for his work in neuroendocrine, neurobiological and related neuroscience research. New Orleans is recognized internationally for contributions to this field including Schally's Nobel Prize discovery and synthesis of the hormones from the brain that control the release and production of other hormones from the master pituitary gland.

Andrew V. Schally became the prominent member of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America. Schally received The Heath Memorial Award (1989). He is a honorary member of the Worldwide Hungarian Medical Academy at the Second International Congress of WHMA which was held in Budapest, Hungary, August 25-27, 1994.

Related links

Andrew V. Schally - The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1977 from The Nobel Foundation
Andrew Victor Schally - 1977 Nobel Laureate in Medicine

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Last Updated: 21 October 2007