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Two Jewish Scientists Win Nobel Peace Prize in Physiology and Medicine

Two Jewish scientists–Sir Bernhard Katz of London and Dr. Julius Axel-rod of Bethesda, Md.–were named in Stockholm today as two of the three winners of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize in Physiology and Medicine. The Swedish Royal Caroline Medico-Surgical Institute announced the selection of the three, who will share $76,800. The third winner is Sweden’s Dr. Ulf von Euler. The trio won for research on transmissions between nerve cells, knowledge useful in treating nervous and medical disorders. Sir Bernhard, 59, has been a professor and head of the Biophysics Department at University College here since 1952. Born in Leipzig, he went on to obtain a master’s degree in 1934, a Ph.D. in 1938 and a doctor of science degree in 1943–the first from the University of Leipzig, the last two from the University of London. He has been resident in London since 1935. A noted lecturer and author, he was elected vice president of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1965 and was awarded its Copley Medal in 1967.

Dr. Axelrod, 58, of the University Public Health Service in Bethesda, has also been associated with the National Institute of Mental Health since 1955. He received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City of New York in 1933, his master’s degree from New York University in 1941 and his Ph.D. in chemical pharmacology from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1955. A previous Jewish winner of the Physiology and Medicine prize, Germany’s Dr. Otto H. Warburg (1931) recently died at the age of 87. Another Jewish winner (1952) was Dr. Selman A. Waksman, the Russian-born American credited with developing streptomycin. (Dr. Dan Rice, a spokesman for the National Institute of Mental Health at Bethesda told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that Dr. Axelrod is a “self-effacing person” who was “nonplussed and speechless” when he received word of his Nobel Prize. “He was very, very pleased. He was totally and genuinely surprised.” Dr. Rice said. He said Dr. Axelrod heard about the award this morning while he was at a dentist’s office having a tooth filled.)

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