"Julie" Axelrod won the Nobel Prize in
1970 for neurotransmitter research conducted in
part with the spectrophotofluorometer (SPF). Dr.
Axelrod was born in 1912 in New York City and attended
the College of the City of New York. After graduation
he worked as a lab assistant and a research chemist.
He then moved on to Goldwater Memorial Hospital,
where he worked as Dr. Brodie's lab technician for
many years. In 1949 both Axelrod and Brodie joined
the newly formed National Heart Institute (NHI)
and while at NHI Axelrod earned his doctoral degree
at George Washington University.
1955, after completing his doctoral work, Dr.
Axelrod became chief of the Section on Pharmacology
at the Laboratory of Clinical Science at the National
Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and began using
the new SPF in his research on neurotransmitters.
With the SPF, he was able to measure tiny amounts
of neurotransmitters in the brain. He studied
norepinephrine and described the process for storage,
release, and "re-uptake" by the cells
as needed. For this work, he was awarded the 1970
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Axelrod
formally retired from NIMH in 1984, though he
continued to keep up a laboratory and be active
in NIH research.