On October 7, the Nobel Committee announced that the Nobel Prize in Medicine will be awarded to the team of scientists who discovered how bubble-like packets or “vesicles” are able to pass through the maze of compartments in a cell and identify the correct location for delivering their cargo of chemicals.
This year’sNobel prize honours American scientists James Rothman of Yale University and Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley, as well as German-born scientist Thomas Südhof of Stanford University.
Three scientists were jointly awarded the 8m Swedish Kroner (EUR 925,000) prize. Their discovery gives insight into diseases such as Alzheimer’s, autism and diabetes.
The Nobel Committee said the work of the three scientists had great implications for neurological conditions, as well as conditions affecting key organs. “Through their discoveries, Rothman, Schekman and Suedhof have revealed the exquisitely precise control system for the transport and delivery of cellular cargo,” the committee said.
Established by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Prizes have been handed out by award committees in Stockholm and Oslo since 1901. The winners always receive their awards on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896.
Last year’s medicine award went to Britain’s John Gurdon and Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka for their contributions to stem cell science./.