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John Robert Vane
Born 29 March 1927
Tardebigg, Worcestershire
Died 19 November 2004
Citizenship British
Nationality English
Fields pharmacology
Known for aspirin, prostaglandin
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1982

Sir John Robert Vane (29 March 1927 – 19 November 2004) was an English pharmacologist, born in Tardebigg, Worcestershire. His father was the son of immigrants from Russia and his mother came from a Worcestershire farming family. He was educated at King Edward's School in Edgbaston, Birmingham, and studied Chemistry at the University of Birmingham in 1944. Vane completed a doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Oxford in 1953.

He held a post at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences of the University of London in the Royal College of Surgeons of England for 18 years. During that time he developed certain bioassay techniques that led to important scientific discoveries. He won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1982 for his work on aspirin in which he discovered it inhibited prostaglandin biosynthesis.[1][2][3][4]

In 1973, Vane left academia and took up the position of director of research of the Wellcome Foundation. He was knighted in 1984. In 1985 he returned to academic life at the William Harvey Research Institute at the Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital (now Barts and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry).[5]

He died on November 19, 2004 in Princess Royal Hospital, Kent from long-term complications arising from leg and hip fractures he sustained in May of that year.


  1. ^ Moncada (1975). "Inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis as the mechanism of analgesia of aspirin-like drugs in the dog knee joint". European journal of pharmacology 31 (2): 250–60. doi:10.1016/0014-2999(75)90047-3. PMID 1149792.  
  2. ^ Ferreira (1973). "Further experiments to establish that the analgesic action of aspirin-like drugs depends on the inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis". British journal of pharmacology 47 (3): 629P–630P. PMID 4199867.  
  3. ^ Ferreira (1971). "Indomethacin and aspirin abolish prostaglandin release from the spleen". Nature: New biology 231 (25): 237–9. PMID 5284362.  
  4. ^ Vane (1971). "Inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis as a mechanism of action for aspirin-like drugs". Nature: New biology 231 (25): 232–5. PMID 5284360.  
  5. ^ "Queen Mary, University of London Notable Alumni and Staff". Retrieved 2007-09-23.  


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