Andrzej Viktor ‘Andrew’ Schally is an American endocrinologist of Polish ancestry who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his pioneering work on the nervous system’s endocrine signaling. He was presented with the award alongside Rosalyn Sussman Yalow and Roger Guillemin. His primary research focused on the production of peptide hormones in the brain. His research focused on hormones that affect the pituitary gland’s functions, including thyrotropin-releasing hormone, or TRH, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH, also known as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone, or LH-RH, and somatostatin. Later on, his research aided in the development of reproductive endocrinology and neuroendocrinology, as well as the study of breast and prostate cancer. Additionally, he made significant contributions to the development of synthetic drugs for the treatment of various types of cancer. He became interested in medical research when he joined the ‘National Institute of Medical Research’ at the age of 23 and was influenced in his research by eminent scientists such as Sir Charles Harington, Dr. D. F. Elliot, Dr. R. R. Porter, and Dr. A. J. P. Martin. Though he began his career at the institute in a very junior position, his work was lauded by all senior scientists. From this point on, his career in medical research took off.
Childhood & Adolescence
Andrew Schally was born on November 30, 1926, in the Polish town of Wilno, which later became known as Vilnius, Lithuania. Kazimierz Piotr Schally, his father, was a Brigadier General in the Polish Army, and Maria Lacka Schally, his mother, was the daughter of a Polish Army officer. Halina Schally was his sister.
When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, he and his family were forced to flee to neutral Romania. He moved to Italy, France, England, Scotland, and Canada following the war’s conclusion in 1945, before settling in America. In 1962, he was naturalized as a US citizen.
He attended the ‘Beaconhurst School, Bridge of Allen’ in Scotland and graduated in 1946. He enrolled in the ‘University of London’ after graduating from high school to study chemistry.
From 1950 to 1952, he attended the ‘National Institute of Medical Research’ in Mill Hill, London. In 1952, he enrolled at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, to study endocrinology.
In 1954, he began studying the hypothalamus’s characteristics. In 1955, he discovered the ‘corticotrophin-releasing factor,’ or CRF, in the hypothalamus.
He graduated from Mcgill University with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry in 1955 and a PhD in Endocrinology in May 1957.
Career of Andrew
Andrew Schally began his career in September 1957 as an Assistant Professor of Physiology at the ‘Baylor University College of Medicine’ in Houston, Texas, USA. During this time period, he was also a ‘Senior Research Fellow’ of the ‘US Public Health Service.
In 1961, he spent a month studying column electrophoresis at the ‘Institute of Biochemistry’ of the ‘University of Uppsala.
He was named Chief of a research laboratory established by the ‘Veterans Administration’ or VA in New Orleans, which enabled him to continue his research.
He was appointed Chief of the ‘Endocrine and Polypeptide Laboratories’ at the New Orleans VA Hospital in December 1962.
Additionally, he joined ‘Tulane University’ in 1962 as an Associate Professor of Medicine and was promoted to full professor in 1966.
In 1965, Dr. C. Gual of Mexico City’s National Institute of Nutrition invited him to assist him in conducting clinical tests on hypothalamic hormones.
In 1968, he assisted Cy Bowers at Mexico City’s ‘National Institute of Nutrition’ in establishing the presence of TRH in humans.
In 1969, he worked on the isolation of TRH, LH-RH, and somatostatin. In 1981, he demonstrated that LH-RH, also known as GnRH, can inhibit prostate cancer spread in rats. Later, the procedure was successfully tried on patients with advanced prostate cancer.
He is currently the Chief of the ‘Endocrine, Polypeptide Cancer Institute at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Miami, Florida.
Significant Works 0f Andrew
Andrew Schally and William Locke co-authored the 1972 book ‘The Hypothalamus and Pituary in Health and Disease.’
Awards and Accomplishments
In 1969, the ‘American Thyroid Association’ awarded Andrew Schally the ‘Van Meter Prize. He received the ‘William S. Middleton’ award in 1970.
In 1974, he received the ‘Charles Mickle Faculty of Medicine Award’ from the ‘University of Toronto’ and the ‘Gairdner Foundation International Award’ from the ‘University of Toronto.
In 1975, he received the ‘Borden Award’ from the ‘Association of American Medical Colleges. In 1975, he was awarded the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award.
He was awarded the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In 1978, he received the ‘Golden Plate Award’ from the ‘American Academy of Achievement.
In 1979, the Brazilian government bestowed upon him the highest honor, the ‘Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul,’ while the Spanish ‘Social Security Hospital System’ bestowed upon him the ‘Blue Cross, Gold Category.
In 1981, he was presented with the ‘AMVETS, Silver Helmet, Civil Servant of the Year Award.’ In 1997, he received the ‘Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social’ award.
In 2004, he was appointed ‘Chevalier, Legion d’Honneur’. In 2012, he received the ‘Research Excellence Award’ from the ‘Department of Veterans Affairs, Miami, Florida.
Personal History and Legacies
Andrew Schally married Margaret Rachel White for the first time and the couple had a son and a daughter. The couple eventually divorced.
He married Ana Maria de Mederios-Comaru in 1976, but they had no children.
Estimated Net Worth
The net worth of Andrew is unknown.