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Sutherland began his research studying how the hormone epinephrine signals cells to release more sugar into the blood so that an organism can respond to stress. He discovered that epinephrine works by stimulating another chemical messenger to begin the sugar-releasing process in the cell. He called this intermediary the "second messenger." For more information about the second messenger, see the section in this exhibit "Rodbell's Inspiration: Sutherland's Second Messenger."

Earl Sutherland was born in Burlingame, Kansas on November 19, 1915. He received his M.S. from Washington University, School of Medicine in St. Louis in 1942, where he became a well-known teacher and researcher in the areas of pharmacology and biochemistry. He later was a professor and department director at the Western Reserve University, School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio and Vanderbilt University, School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. He served on the National Institutes of Health Pharmacology Training Committee, and Arthritis and Metabolic Disease Program Committee. Sutherland's impact was widely felt, with many Nobel laureates having either trained under his direction or with mentors who had. For more information about Sutherland and his work, see

Photo: © The Nobel Foundation
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