A Community of Rambunctious Scholars Celebrating People
Who Have Made Lifesaving Discoveries And Encouraging
Students and Politicians to Read 1000 Science Stories!

TOTAL LIVES SAVED
George Hitchings

How fast can you count to this #?

We Need Your Help!

Do You Know This Scientist?

If you do, we welcome your input.  Please share your funny stories, brief anecdotes, quotes, and photos of the scientist - as well as your own inspirational opinions.  Personal accounts help bring a scientist alive and create an enduring historical picture.  You can be a part of this exciting history by providing your personal account! 

Please click here to learn more about how to contribute:
Participate as a Friend Scholar

Can You Write or Research?

Help us learn more about this great scientist.  You can be a credited Support Scholar by contributing your knowledge about this scientist and important discovery.  Entries can be as short as a single section and as easy as compiling quotes.  Click here to learn more about becoming a Support Scholar:
Participate as a Support Scholar

Would you like to adopt a scientist?

Endeavor to research all the sections of a scientist. Click here to learn how to be an Expert Scholar.
Participate as an Expert Scholar

Have Historically Significant Photographs?
Participate with Photos

Click here for all the ways you can participate:
Participate to ScienceHeroes.com

Testimonials

Has this scientist’s science impacted your life?
Click here to tell your story or to read others’ life changing anecdotes:
Post Your Own Testimonial


George Hitchings
(April 18, 1905 - February 27, 1998)
Born in
Year of Discovery:

readitIntroAbove

hitchings_wash_edu


Hitchings Hatches Drug Design with Rational Approach

One of the most prolific pharmaceutical researchers ever, George Hitchings can be credited with saving over 5.4 million lives. Those lives saved include leukemia patients, transplant patients, malaria patients, gout patients, and even AIDS patients. What an accomplishment to transform, affect, and save so many lives! The son of a marine architect, he grew up along the west coast of the United States. The death of his father at age 12 heavily influenced his choice of science as a career. "My father died after a prolonged illness when I was twelve years old," Hitchings once wrote. "The deep impression made by this event turned my thoughts toward medicine. This objective shaped my selection of courses in high school and expressed itself when I was salutatorian at my class graduation. I chose the life of [Louis] Pasteur as the subject for my oration. The blending of Pasteur's basic research and practical results remained a goal throughout my career." He went on to the University of Washington majoring in chemistry and then on to Harvard for a Ph.D. At Harvard, he studied nucleic acids, the building blocks of DNA. However, at that time, the structure of DNA hadn’t been discovered, so it was difficult to find a job that allowed him to continue that research line.


Eventually, he landed a job that let him pursue his true interest. In 1942, Burroughs-Wellcome, a pharmaceutical company hired him to research and develop drugs. In 1944, he hired Gertrude Elion and the two developed “rational” drug design. This process involved deliberately designing a new molecule with a specific structure they thought would interact with a molecule in the body to treat a specific problem. This was a new and novel approach to drug development. Prior to it, drug development was mostly trial and error.

This rational and methodical approach paid off handsomely! He accumulated 85 patents in his 30-year career. His drugs primarily affected DNA synthesis which led to anticancer drugs, drugs that would treat malaria, gout, and kidney stones, as well as drugs that suppressed the immune system. This led to drugs to prevent rejection in organ transplants, most notably kidney transplants. His methods also were used by others to develop the antiviral drug, acyclovir, and AZT, the anti-AIDS compound.

As generous as brilliant, Hitchings became director of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, a non profit organization that promotes biomedical research. He founded the Triangle Community Foundation, to fulfill needs in the triangle area of North Carolina where his lab was. Towards the end of his career he devoted 1/3 of his time to philanthropic pursuits and 2/3 to science. He said of his career, “My greatest satisfaction has come from knowing that our efforts helped to save lives and relieve suffering. When I was baptised, my father held me up and dedicated my life to the service of mankind. I am very proud that, in some measure, I have been able to fulfill his hopes.”

readitIntroBelow

readitSeeTally

Introduction by Martha Pat Kinney


Bookcoverjacket


Table of Contents

Introduction
Links to More Information About the Scientist
Key Insight
Key Experiment or Research
Key Contributors
Quotes by the Scientist
Quotes About the Scientist
Anecdotes
Fun Trivia About The Science
The Science Behind the Discovery
Personal Information
Science Discovery Timeline
Recommended Books About the Science
Books by the Scientist
Books About the Scientist
Awards
Major Academic Papers
Curriculum Vitae
Links to Science and Related Information on the Subject
Sources

 








Links to More About the Scientist & the Science

Nobel Prize Award Autobiography
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1988/hitchings-autobio.html

faqs.org Biography
http://www.faqs.org/health/bios/74/George-H-Hitchings.html

The Chemical Heritage Foundatiuon, Profile
http://www.chemheritage.org/EducationalServices/pharm/chemo/readings/hitch.htm


Sliders & Images here




Image Flow Here




Key Insight




Key Experiments or Research

 



Key Contributors

The Team
Explore other scientists who furthered this lifesaving advance.
Lifesavers: Rational Drug Development
Gertrude Elion
Co-developed the Rational Drug Design method, revolutionizing pharmaceutical research.





Quotes by the Scientist




Quotes About the Scientist




Anecdotes




Fun Trivia About the Science




The Science Behind the Discovery



Personal Information



Scientific Discovery Timeline




Recommended Books About the Science




Books by the Scientist




Books About the Scientist

 



Awards




Major Academic Papers Written by the Scientist



Curriculum Vitae



Links to Information on the Science




Sources/References