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Lamson Memorial Lecture

Paul Dudley Lamson, Ph.D.

Dr. Paul Lamson was the first Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt. Dr. Lamson obtained his medical degree from Harvard University in 1909 and did further training at Massachusetts General Hospital, the University College in London and the University of Wurzburg in Germany before joining the faculty of Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1914. His early work in electrocardiography resulted in the publication of a book, “The Heart Rhythms”, in 1921. In 1923, he was recruited by Dr. Canby Robinson to be the Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, a position he held until 1952.

Dr. Lamson made significant contributions to the field of Pharmacology including the introduction of carbon tetra-chloride therapy and hexylresorcinol therapy for the treatment of hookworm and ascariasis. Furthermore, he was one of the first researchers to recognize the importance of chemistry and the use of “chemical probes” to elucidate mechanisms of drug action.

In 1951, he demonstrated the “Lamson effect” by showing that glucose given intravenously to animals awakening from barbiturate anesthesia caused them go back to sleep. He also described the role of the liver in the regulation of blood volume, was the first to artificially produce cirrhosis of the liver, and built one of the first artificial hearts. Dr. Lamson’s additional contributions include his work in the areas of toxicity, acute polycythemia, and shock.

In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Lamson was also active in many professional organizations including the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He served as the Vice-President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in charge of the Section on Medical Science in 1943. He was also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics from 1937 to 1940.

Lamson Memorial Lecture History

1965  K.K. Chen
1966  Maurice Seevers
1967  Karl Beyer
1969  Harry Eagle
1971  Bernard B. Brodie
1972  Robert E. Handschumachel
1974  Paul Greengard *2000
1975  Werner Kalow
1976  Julius Axelrod *1970
1978  James W. Black *1968
1980  Solomon H. Snyder
1982  Floyd E. Bloom
1984  Robert F. Furchgott *1998
1986  Philip Needleman
1988  Eric R. Kandel *2000
1990  Alfred G. Gilman *1994
1992  Bert Sakmann *1991
1994  Kevin P. Campbell
1996  Lucy Shapiro
1998  Leroy Hood
2002  Robert Lefkowitz
2004  Sir Michael Berridge
2006  Marc Tessier-Levigne
2008  Ann M. Graybiel​
2010  Susan L. Lindquist​
2013  Jonathan G. Seidman
2024 Yulong Li ***Upcoming***