Ferid Murad, Nobelist Who Saw How a Gas Can Aid the Heart, Dies at 86

Ferid Murad, a pharmacologist whose research into the effects of nitric oxide on the heart and blood vessels enabled widespread advancements in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and erectile dysfunction, and which earned him a share in a Nobel Prize in 1998, died on Monday at his home in Menlo Park, Calif. He was 86.

His son, Joe Murad, confirmed the death. The cause was not immediately known.

Doctors had been prescribing nitroglycerin for angina and other heart ailments for over a century — including, coincidentally, to Alfred Nobel, who founded the Nobel Prizes.

But no one knew exactly how it worked. And no one suspected that the active agent could be nitric oxide, a cancer-causing free radical most often associated with pollution (and not to be confused with nitrous oxide, or laughing gas).

Dr. Murad, who began his work while teaching at the University of Virginia, made his discovery in part by accident.

Ferid Murad was born on Sept. 14, 1936, in a small apartment over a bakery in Whiting, Ind. His father, John Murad, was born in Albania as Jabir Murat Ejupi, only to have his name altered by an immigration officer when he arrived at Ellis Island in 1913.

He and Dr. Murad’s mother, Henrietta (Bowman) Murad, ran a restaurant where Ferid and his two brothers, John and Turhon, worked from an early age — first as dishwashers, then as waiters. All three went on to earn doctoral degrees.

Ferid, known to his friends as Fred, studied pre-med and chemistry at DePauw University. A few weeks after he graduated, in 1958, he married Carol Leopold.

Along with their son, she survives him, as do their daughters, Christy Kuret, Carrie Rogers, Marianne Delmissier and Julie Birnbaum, and nine grandchildren.

Dr. Murad was among the first students in a new M.D./Ph.D. program at Case Western University in Cleveland; he graduated with degrees in medicine and pharmacology in 1965. To make money on the side, he delivered babies at the nearby Cleveland Clinic.

He conducted his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and later worked at the National Institutes of Health, the University of Virginia and Stanford University.

Sahred From Source link Science

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