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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology


This illustration is an artist's rendering of the nitric oxide (NO) molecule. In this figure, NO is represented by the 2s atomic orbitals of the oxygen (red) and nitrogen (green) atoms. NO is a short-lived radical that has been shown to play an important role as a biological messenger. Work on the relaxation of arteries by Dr. Furchgott in this department has led to the suggestion in 1986 that endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) is in fact NO. For these discoveries, Dr. Furchgott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998. For details, please see Dr. Furchgott's page under the faculty listing.