Nanna Svartz – inventor of Salazopyrin

How to use the material

You can use this post on social media to tell the story of Sweden's first female professor of medicine Nanna Svartz, who invented a drug that is used to treat rheumatism and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Please make sure to always include the name of the photographers, or sources, of the images you use.

Photos

Nanna Svart, historical photo.
Download photo via Stockholmskällan

Photo by Gunnar Lantz, Stockholm City Museum

Download photo from Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Nanna Svartz from the collection of Sörmland's museum

Captions

Nanna Svartz (1890–1986) may not be a household name. But her legacy is rather impressive. ⚕️

In 1937 Svartz became Sweden's first female professor of medicine – at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm – and she's the inventor behind a drug used to treat rheumatism and inflammatory bowel diseases: Salazopyrin. 👩‍⚕️

Salazopyrin has been in use since the 1940s and is on the WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines, which includes drugs that are particularly effective and safe. 🌍

In her research, Svartz came up with the idea to combine sulfapyridine and salicylic acid as a treatment for rheumatism. This led her to team up with Pharmacia in the late 1930s to develop sulfasalazine – the active ingredient in Salazopyrin. 🧪

During development, it was discovered that sulfasalazine also had an effect on gastrointestinal diseases. 😌

Photos: Gunnar Lantz, Stockholm City Museum, and from the collection of Sörmland's museum.

Read more

Nanna Svartz was a physician and professor of medicine at the medical university Karolinska Institutet.

Article in English about Nanna Svartz from Karolinska Institutet

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