Solomon H. Snyder
Johns Hopkins University
Election Year: 1980
Primary Section: 24, Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Secondary Section: 23, Physiology and Pharmacology
Membership Type: Member
Many advances in molecular neuroscience have stemmed from Dr. Snyder's identification of receptors for neurotransmitters and drugs and elucidation of the actions of psychotropic agents. He pioneered the labeling of receptors by reversible ligand binding in the identification of opiate receptors and extended this technique for all the major neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. In characterizing each new group of receptors, he also elucidated actions of major neuroactive drugs. The isolation and subsequent cloning of receptor proteins stems from the ability to label, and thus monitor, receptors by these ligand binding techniques. The application of Dr. Snyder's techniques had enhanced the development of new agents in the pharmaceutical industry by enabling rapid screening of large number of candidate drugs. Dr. Snyder applied receptor techniques to the clarification of second messenger systems, particularly the inositol 1,4,5,-triphosphate receptors of the phosphoinositide cycle. He has made contributions to the molecular basis of olfaction including identification, isolation and cloning of the odorant binding protein and delineation of odorant regulation of second messengers. He has established gases as a new class of neurotransmitters, beginning with his demonstrating the role of nitric oxide in mediating glutamate synaptic transmission and neurotoxicity. His isolation and molecular cloning of nitric oxide synthase led to major insights into the neurotransmitter functions of nitric oxide throughout the body. Subsequently, he established carbon monoxide as another gaseous transmitter candidate.