Gregory Goodwin Pincus
Gregory Goodwin Pincus, an endocrinologist, was born in Woodbine, New Jersey on April 9, 1903. He was educated at Cornell University, in England and at Harvard University, in Boston, Massachusetts. He also studied in Germany. He was a staff member at Harvard University, Clark University, Boston University, and Tufts Medical School, all in Massachusetts.
Pincus was Research Director at the Worchester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Pincus co-founded this foundation with Hudson Hoagland. It became a major center for the study of steroid hormones and mammalian reproduction.
Pincus's most important work was in the reproductive part of physiology. He studied the human birth and ways to control it. Through his studies and the help of Min Chueh Chang and John Rock, the "pill" was developed. This oral contraceptive is based on the use of synthetic hormones that have an inner effect on the female reproductive system.
This prevents fertilization while, at the same time allowing sexual freedom.
Pincus discovered the steroid hormone progesterone. This hormone, which is found in greater concentrations during pregnancy, is what the cause of prevention of ovulation in pregnancy. With the financial help of Margaret Sanger and Katherine Dexter McCormick, Pincus saw the possibility of using these types of synthetics as pills for wide use for females.
The first trials of these pills were done in 1954 and were proven to be very successful. In 1963, Pincus became the first chairman of the Oral Advisory Group of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. In 1960, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved of the first oral contraceptive for distribution. Since then, this pill has been improved and is now used widely and very often by females all around the world.
Some of his books are The Eggs of Mammals (1936)...