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Bernardo Houssay

Bernardo Alberto Houssay (April 10, 1887 – September 21, 1971), an Argentine physiologist, is the recipient of the 1947 Noble Prize in medicine (with Carl and Gerty Cori) for his pioneering contributions and the role played by pituitary hormones in regulating the amount of blood sugar (glucose) in animals.

Early life[]

Bernardo Alberto Houssay, born in Buenos Aires (Argentina), was one of the eight children of Dr. Albert (a barrister by profession) and Clara (née Laffont) Houssay. His parents have migrated to Argentina from France. , who had come to Argentina from France. His education was begun at the Colegio Británico, a private school. After schooling, enrolled at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Buenos Aires. In 1904, at an exceptionally young age of 14, he graduated. By 1907, he was already studying medicine and was also working in the Department of Physiology of the University. His M.D.-thesis pertained to research on the hypophysis that earned him a University prize.

He married Dr. Maria Angelica Catan who was a chemist. They have three sons, Alberto, Hector, and Raul. His wife, Dr. Maria Angelica Catan, died in 1962.


He has worked in almost all fields of physiology though he remained more interested to studies and researches relating to endocrine glands. Apart from research, he also remained active in the advancement of medical education, and scientific research in Argentina. Some of the highlights of his career include:

  • Publication of more than 500 papers and many books.
  • Received many prizes and awards including the one from the National Academy of Sciences (Buenos Aires) in 1923; and the Dale Medal of the Society of Endocrinology (London) in 1960.
  • He held honorary degrees of twenty-five universities.
  • He was honorary professor of 15 universities, foreign associate of 11 academies or learned societies, member (honorary or correspondent) of 38 Academies, 16 Societies of Biology, 11 of Endocrinology, 7 of Physiology and 5 of Cardiology. He has been decorated by the governments of several countries.

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