Sir James Black, Nobel Laureate and alumnus of the University of St Andrews takes centre stage as part of the GREAT Britain campaign #GREATforImagination commemorating 400 years since the grant of British Patent Number One. Sir James is credited with the invention of beta-blockers, a milestone in pharmacology which has saved and transformed the lives of millions.
Sir James’ discovery of the modern blood-pressure drug, propranolol, and the first modern ulcer drug, cimetidine, which rank among the most important medical advances of the 20th century, revolutionised the way doctors help heart patients, and abolished overnight the need for ulcer surgery.
He was awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1988 for his work on drug development. Sir James was knighted in 1981 and in 2000 was appointed to the order of Merit. He was awarded an Honorary Degree by St Andrews in 1985.
Professor David Crossman, Dean of Medicine at St Andrews, said, “James Black was awarded a scholarship to study medicine in St Andrews at the age of 15 whilst a pupil at Beath High School, Cowdenbeath. He came up in war time Scotland and lived first in St Salvator’s Hall where his portrait hangs today.
“Perhaps never has such a scholarship been more worthwhile as his subsequent career in drug development resulted in the beta blockers and in the 5HT3 antagonists, the effects of which have improved the lives of millions of people around the world.
“The University of St Andrews established the Sir James Black Chair of Medicine in honour of this great alumnus, who was an iconic leader in medicine.”
During a hugely distinguished career, he held posts in academia and industry and was Chancellor of the University of Dundee from 1992 to 2006.
The GREAT Britain campaign is the Government’s most ambitious international marketing campaign ever and showcases the very best of what our whole nation has to offer in order to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK. The campaign has already secured confirmed economic returns of £2.7 billion for the UK.
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Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. Contact Christine Tudhope on 01334 467320/07526 624 243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Awards