Louis Goodman

University of Utah

August 27, 1906 - November 19, 2000


Election Year: 1965
Scientific Discipline: Physiology and Pharmacology
Membership Type: Member

Louis Goodman was among one of the first pharmacologists to develop chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer.  He conducted the first clinical study that used nitrogen mustards as an anticancer drug, which led to the introduction of alkylating agents in the treatment of malignant disease.  He wrote the first article on the use of a chemotherapeutic agent for treating lymphosarcoma and leukemia.  Goodman’s studies on neuropharmacology resulted in the clarification of the pharmacological properties of dibenamine, an adrenergic inhibitor, which became an important tool for both pharmacologists and clinicians.  He also dealt with the treatment of epilepsy, primarily the development of new epileptic drugs and the establishment of a comprehensive understanding of neurophysiological abnormalities in epilepsy.  However, Goodman was best known for co-authoring (with Alfred Gilman) “The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics” in 1941, which became one of the most authoritative and widely used texts in the basic medical sciences.

Goodman earned his A.B. degree from Reed College in 1928 and his M.D. degree from the University of Oregon in 1932.  He began teaching at the University of Vermont in 1935 as an instructor, becoming an assistant professor in 1937 and a professor of pharmacology in 1943.  The next year, he accepted a position as professor of pharmacology and head of the department at the University of Utah, a position he held until the early 1990s.  Goodman served the National Institutes of Health on study sections, training committees, and on two councils.  He was also affiliated with the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the American Physiology Society, the American Academy of Neurology, the Academy of Anesthesiology, and the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.  

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