Gertrude Belle Elion. 23 January 1918 — 21 February 1999

  title={Gertrude Belle Elion. 23 January 1918 — 21 February 1999},
  author={Mary Ellen Avery},
  journal={Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society},
  pages={161 - 168}
  • M. Avery
  • Published 12 December 2008
  • Education
  • Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society
In the spring of 1933 Gertrude Elion graduated from high school and that summer she had to select a major subject before she could begin her freshman year at Hunter College. This posed a quandary for the future Nobel Prize recipient, as well as holder of 45 patents, 23 honorary degrees, and a long list of other honours: she had liked all her school subjects, making it difficult to select just one. ‘Iloved to learn everything, everything in sight and I was never satisfied that I knew everything… 
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Mechanism of action and selectivity of acyclovir.

  • G. Elion
  • Biology, Chemistry
    The American journal of medicine
  • 1982

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Acycloguanosine triphosphate inhibits herpes simplex virus DNA polymerase (DNA nucleotidyltransferase) 10-30 times more effectively than cellular (HeLa S3) DNA polymerases, contributing to the drug's selectivity.

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These studies indicate that vinorelbine possesses antitumor activity against several glioma tumor xenografts with marked activity in a mismatch repair deficient-tumor.

Inhibition by acyclovir of herpes simplex virus type 2 morphologically transformed cell growth in tissue culture and tumor‐bearing animals

Rat embryo fibroblasts morphologically transformed by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV‐2) and tumor‐derived cells were tested for ability to grow in the presence of 9‐(2‐hydroxyethoxymethyl) guanine (acyclovir) and preliminary data showed that the drug inhibited tumor development in newborn syngeneic rats inoculated with HSV‐ 2‐transformed cells.

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The importance of quantitative studies of the specificities of purine-metabolizing enzymes are discussed, and they may also serve as a basis for understanding the selective toxicity of a compound and aid in the design of new antimetabolites.