David Lester (biochemist)
|Born||January 22, 1916|
|Died||September 15, 1990 (aged 74)|
|Alma mater||Yale University,|
Life and career
He was scientific director of the Center for Alcohol Studies after it moved to Rutgers in 1962. From 1940 to 1980, he was an editorial board member of the Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol (which later became the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and finally the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs), based at the Center for Alcohol Studies.
In 1946-1947, while studying at Yale, he coauthored with Leon Greenberg a series of three papers on acetanilide, an analgesic that was still in use at the time, aiming to establish why it caused methemoglobinemia. Although more than half a century had passed since acetanilide was first used clinically, there was wide-ranging disagreement concerning its metabolism, and numerous theories had been postulated. The first of these three papers summarized these theories, and reexamined the proportion of various acetanilide metabolites in human urine. Finding that p-aminophenol conjugates were excreted, they refuted the earlier theories that the accumulation of this substance in the body was causing methemoglobinemia. Of far greater impact was the second paper in this series, showing that paracetamol was a metabolite of acetanilide in the blood. The third paper in the series reported that even large amounts of paracetamol (up to 4 grams per kg of body weight) did not produce methemoglobinemia in albino rats. This observation, together with later studies conducted by Bernard Brodie and Julius Axelrod led to the rediscovery of paracetamol as a drug.
- Alfonso A. Narvaez (September 18, 1990). "David Lester, 74; Rutgers Researcher Studied Alcoholism". New York Times.
- L.A. Greenberg; D. Lester (1946). "The metabolic fate of acetanilid and other aniline derivatives I. Major metabolites of acetanilid appearing in the urine". Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 88 (1): 87–98.
- D. Lester; L.A. Greenberg; R.P. Carroll (1947). "The metabolic fate of acetanilid and other aniline derivatives II. Major metabolites of acetanilid appearing in the blood". Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 90 (1): 68–75.
- L.A. Greenberg; D. Lester (1947). "The metabolic fate of acetanilid and other aniline derivatives III. The role of p-aminophenol in the production of methemoglobinemia after acetanilid". Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 90 (2): 150–153.
- Brown, Trevor; Dronsfield, Alan; Ellis, Peter (1 July 2005). "Pain relief: from coal tar to paracetamol". Education in Chemistry. Vol. 42 no. 4. Royal Society of Chemistry. pp. 102–105.
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