From a very young age, he stood out as a true child prodigy.
He finished primary school at the British College when he was barely 9 years old and at 13 he had already obtained a bachelor’s degree at the National College of Buenos Aires.
He entered the School of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Medicine at 14 and graduated three years later with the highest grades.
He immediately began his medical degree at the same house of higher studies and finished it at 23, with a diploma of honor.
When he was in the Department of Physiology, he oriented his work towards research on the pituitary gland, obtaining the results presented in his doctoral thesis, awarded by the University of Buenos Aires in 1911.
At the age of 23, he was appointed Professor of Physiology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Head of Clinic at Hospital Alvear.
Despite receiving numerous highly-paid job offers in other countries, Bernardo Houssay stayed in Argentina and trained researchers.
In 1919, he was appointed Professor of Physiology and created an institute dedicated to that specialty that acquired significant international fame.
In 1945, he wrote “Human Physiology”, a book that decisively contributed to the training of many generations of Argentine and world doctors.
Due to his explicit support for the allies during the Second World War, the Peronist government removed his posts, although he would return to his functions after the coup d’état of 1955.
For his research on the pituitary, on October 23, 1947, the Swedish Academy awarded him the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
He was the first Latin American to receive the award.
Houssay wrote more than 500 scientific papers, obtained honorary degrees from 25 universities, and was president of the Buenos Aires Academy of Medicine, Letters, and Sciences.
In 1970, already in poor health, he received with great joy the news that his disciple Luis Leloir had also received the Nobel Prize.
Bernardo Houssay died on September 21, 1971.
In his tribute, a lunar crater and an asteroid are named after him.
The OAS also instituted the “Bernardo Houssay” award to honor the most important researchers in the American continent.
Argentine physician and Nobel Prize winner Bernardo Houssay was born on April 10, 1887.
The story is also news on Radio Perfil. Voiceover by Pita Fortín and script by Javier Pasaragua.