What is it about?

James Whyte Black (1924–2010) was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize for discovering important principles of drug treatment. His work paved the way for the invention of the beta-blocker propranolol, and cimetidine, used in the treatment of stomach ulcers.

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Why is it important?

Black's work was judged to have improved the quality of life for millions of people around the world. Propranolol which was solely Black’s invention, revolutionized the way we treat heart disease.


What comes across from listening to Black in conversation is an innate curiosity, good humour and engagement with life and work from his humble beginnings, through this student years, to his drug development and beyond the Nobel Prize.

Judith Ozkan

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This page is a summary of: Sir James Whyte Black, European Heart Journal, August 2019, Oxford University Press (OUP), DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehz543.
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