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Louis J. Ignarro

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles

I am Professor Emeritus from the UCLA School of Medicine, having retired in 2013. My academic career focused on basic cardiovascular research and teaching medical students. I was awarded the Golden Apple Teaching Award on 11 separate occasions by the students. In 1998, I was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for my discoveries pertaining to Nitric Oxide as a wide-spread signaling molecule in the body. In 1992, I published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealing for the first time that nitric oxide is the neurotransmitter causing penile erection and sexual arousal. This led to the development and marketing of sildenafil or Viagra, as well as my acronym- "The Father of Viagra."


  • –present
    Distinguished Professor Emeritus, UCLA School of Medicine


  • 1966 
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, PhD degree in Pharmacology and Physiology