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Bernardo Houssay is a physiologist from Argentina who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1947. He was the first Argentine to be a Nobel laureate.
See the fact file below for more information on the Bernardo Houssay or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Bernardo Houssay worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- On April 10, 1887, Bernardo Alberto Houssay was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- He was the son of Dr. Albert and Clara Laffont Houssay.
- He received his early education at the Colegio Británico.
- At 14, he entered the University of Buenos Aires’ School of Pharmacy.
- He graduated in 1904.
- He went on to study medicine. In 1907, he became a research and teaching assistant in the Department of Physiology of the university even though he hadn’t yet finished his studies.
- In 1911, he published his M.D. thesis about the hypophysis. This earned him a prize from the University.
- Houssay started working as an assistant lecturer in the Physiology department in 1908, and right after his doctorate, he became the Professor of Physiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine of the same university.
- While he was working at the School of Veterinary Medicine, he was also doing hospital practice. In 1913, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of Alvear Hospital.
- From 1915 to 1919, Bernardo was also in charge of the Laboratory of Experimental Physiology and Pathology, which was under the National Department of Hygiene.
- The Medical School at Buenos Aires University hired him as a Professor of Physiology in 1919.
- Bernardo also established the Institute of Physiology at the Medical School, which made it a center of international reputation.
- He occupied the post of Professor and Director of the Institute of Physiology until 1943 when the government removed him from his job after he voiced the need for effective democracy in their country.
- Although he received many invitations to work abroad, he stayed in the institute that he organized using the funds given by the Sauberan Foundation, and other bodies.
- He remained the director of the Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental until he was reinstated in the university by the new government in 1955.
- He was also the director of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council from 1957 onward.
- He worked in various fields of physiology, including the circulatory, digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems.
- He had a particular interest in the endocrine glands and their study.
- His main contribution to physiology was recognized with the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physiology.
- He won the prize for his experimental investigation of the role of the anterior pituitary (hypophysis) gland in the breakdown (metabolism) of carbohydrates, mainly in diabetes mellitus.
- Houssay worked with dogs that were made diabetic by removing their pancreas.
- Bernardo learned that removing the adenohypophysis (the frontal lobe of the pituitary gland) relieves the symptoms of diabetes. It also made the dog more sensitive to insulin.
- He also demonstrated that injecting pituitary extracts into healthy animals increases blood sugar, inducing diabetes to the animal.
- Houssay also noted that secretions of the pituitary gland oppose the actions of insulin.
- His discoveries inspired research on hormonal feedback control mechanisms, a central aspect of modern endocrinology.
- He shared the 1947 Nobel Prize for Physiology with Carl Ferdinand Cori and Gerty Cori. They won the prize for their discoveries on the role of glucose in the metabolism of carbohydrates.
DEATH AND LEGACY
- Houssay did lifelong research on the hypophysis.
- He also conducted studies on pharmacology.
- Bernardo also actively promoted the advancement of university and medical education in Argentina, including scientific research.
- He authored over 500 papers and a number of books.
- In 1951, he published Human Physiology, his most famous book.
- Houssay also won many prizes, including the Dale Medal of the Society of Endocrinology of London, which he received in 1960.
- The National Academy of Sciences of Buenos Aires also gave him an award for his work.
- Houssay also received the Banting Medal from the American Diabetes Association in 1946.
- Twenty-five universities gave him honorary degrees.
- Bernardo was also a member of the following: (1) Argentine National Academy of Medicine, (2) National Academy of Sciences of Buenos Aires, (3) Academy of Letters, (4) Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and (5) Academy of Moral and Political Sciences of Buenos Aires.
- He was also a foreign associate of 11 learned societies or academies, an honorary professor in 15 universities, and a correspondent or honorary member of 38 Academies, 11 of Endocrinology, 16 Societies of Biology, 5 of Cardiology, and 7 of Physiology.
- The governments of some countries also decorated Bernardo Houssay.
- Bernardo married chemist Dr. Maria Angelica Catan in 1920. They had three children, Alberto, Hector, and Raul. All of their children followed in their footsteps and became medical degree holders too.
- Houssay retained his post as an honorary president of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research, the primary scientific institution of Argentina, until his death.
- Bernardo Houssay died on September 21, 1971.
- The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation awards the Bernardo Houssay Prize to honor scientists and researchers who stand out for their career in the Scientific and Technological Research of the Republic of Argentina.
Bernardo Houssay Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Bernardo Houssay across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Bernardo Houssay worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Bernardo Houssay who is a physiologist from Argentina who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1947. He was the first Argentine to be a Nobel laureate.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Paper on Houssay
- Aires’ Pride
- Sugary Blood
- Diabetes Types
- In the Glands
- Sugar Insight
- In Recent Years
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