Louis J. Ignarro|
Louis J. Ignarro
May 31, 1941|
|Institutions||UCLA School of Medicine|
|Known for||nitric oxide|
|Notable awards||1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine|
Louis J. Ignarro (May 31, 1941 – ) is an American pharmacologist. He was corecipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Robert F. Furchgott and Ferid Murad for demonstrating the signalling properties of nitric oxide.
He is currently a distinguished professor of pharmacology at the UCLA School of Medicine's department of molecular and medical pharmacology in Los Angeles, which he joined in 1985. Before relocating to California, he was a professor of pharmacology at Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, for 12 years. Ignarro has also previously worked as a staff scientist, research department, for the pharmaceutical division of CIBA-GEIGY Corporation in New York.
Ignarro has published numerous articles on his research. He received the Basic Research Prize of the American Heart Association in 1998, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science. That same year, he was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences and the following year, into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He is the founder of the Nitric Oxide Society, and founder and editor-in-chief of “Nitric Oxide Biology and Chemistry.” Ignarro holds a B.S. in pharmacy, Columbia University, 1962, and a Ph.D. in pharmacology, University of Minnesota, School of Medicine, 1966. He also received a postdoctoral fellowship in chemical pharmacology from National Institutes of Health in 1968. He is a member of the scientific committee of Nicox, a French pharmaceutical company, a member of the Board of Directors of Antibe Therapeutics, a Canadian drug discovery company, and a member of the Nutritional Advisory Board for Herbalife, a nutrition and weight-loss company.
By 1998 Ignarro was the winner of 11 consecutive Golden Apples, the award UCLA medical students give to the year's best teacher.
Not to be confused with nitrous oxide (a gas used in anesthesia), nitric oxide is a colorless, odorless gas that, now has widespread potential including the treatment of heart disease, shock, cancer, impotence, and pulmonary hypertension. In 1994, the respected journal Science declared nitric oxide as its "molecule of the year."
Nitric oxide is now known to play a key role in many biological functions including inflammation, blood flow regulation, cell growth, smooth muscle relaxation, and preserving memory. Each year, thousands of research papers are written about the molecule. 
Ignarro worked with Herbalife to develop Niteworks, a dietary supplement designed to boost the body’s own production of nitric oxide, and later became a member of the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. Ignarro endorsed this product in exchange for a royalty agreement reported to have earned his consulting firm over $1 million in the first 12 months. Ignarro also promoted Niteworks' ingredients in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, without disclosing his financial interest to the publication. After Ignarro's ties to Herbalife were revealed, the journal issued a correction to the article, citing Ignarro's undisclosed "conflict of interest."
In 2005, Ignarro published through St Martin's Press the book "NO More Heart Disease: How Nitric Oxide Can Prevent - Even Reverse - Heart Disease and Strokes". It includes a regimen for boosting naturally occurring nitric oxide in the body.
- UCLA Louis J. Ignarro, Medicine (1998)
- Ignarro's Publications
- "Nobel Prize Winner Didn't Disclose Herbalife Contract" Bloomberg News report
- Washington Post article "Nitric Oxide Now -- Ask Me How: Some Find Nobel Laureate's Alliance With Supplement Marketer Hard to Swallow", Washington Post, October 7, 2003
- Louis Ignarro bio, Herbalife.com, cited March 17, 2008