1975 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award

Isolation of hypothalamic peptide hormones

Dr. Guillemin identified and synthesized, from ovine hypothalami, the thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete thyrotropin, which in turn activates the thyroid.

More recently, he has isolated, determined the structure, and synthesized somatostatin (SRIF), which inhibits the secretion of growth hormone from the pituitary and also regulates the secretion of insulin and glucagon by the pancreas. The role of somatostatin in controlling glucagon and insulin secretion may provide new insights into the nature and treatment of diabetes mellitus.

Dr. Schally identified and synthesized, from porcine hypothalami, the thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). He subsequently discovered and synthesized a hormone called luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LH-RH). This hormone stimulates the release from the pituitary of both luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which in turn regulate male and female sex organs. This discovery has great implications in the field of human reproduction, and may lead to the development of both fertility and contraceptive compounds.

For expanding our knowledge of the interplay between the brain hypothalamus and the endocrine system, and the future possible clinical application of these discoveries in the treatment of both neural and endocrine diseases, this 1975 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award is given.