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Fluorescence to the Rescue | Move to the NIH | Anything Glows | AMINCO Steps In | Nobel Prize Winner | Fluorescence News
image of molecule Let the Research Begin!

Dr. Sidney Udenfriend used the SPF to test the fluorescence of different substances that would be of interest to biological scientists. To the amazement of the profession, he detected fluorescence in many molecules that had not been known to fluoresce! He and Dr. Bowman published a paper on the results of the early experiments with the SPF. Later, Dr. Udenfriend edited two volumes entitled Fluorescence Assay in Biology and Medicine. These works helped other scientists create new ways to use fluorescence in their own research.

He detected fluorescence in many molecules that had not been known to fluoresce!




The Nobel Prize Winner (1960s)

By 1955 Dr. Julius Axelrod-Dr. Brodie's former lab technician-had moved on to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and was working on his own experiments. He began using the new SPF in his research on what are now known as neurotransmitters in 1957.

"The SPF . . . changed the direction of the whole field of neurobiology," wrote Dr. Axelrod, looking back on his experience. He used the SPF to trace and measure tiny amounts of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. These neurotransmitters were present in the body in such minute amounts that no previously existing technology could have detected them. This research led to the development of antidepressant drugs such as Prozac. In 1970 Dr. Axelrod was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with neurotransmitters.

Photograph of Drs. Axelrod and Bowman

Dr. Julius Axelrod, left, with Dr. Robert Bowman

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