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October 1958

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2004 - Winter


Alumni Bulletin

“Discovery of the first hormone ever isolated from the pineal gland has been reported by Dr. Aaron B. Lerner and his associates in the Section of Dermatology. The new hormone has been named Melatonin.

“The laboratory technique developed by the Yale investigators for isolating Melatonin was worked out during three years of exhaustive research. More than 250,000 beef pineal glands were supplied by the Armour Laboratories. Chemically, the new hormone belongs in the class of compounds known as hydroxyindoles. Although the function of Melatonin has not yet been determined in humans or in animals, tests in frogs reveal that it lightens the skin shade and reverses the darkening effect of other hormones.”