U.S. Scientists Share Chemistry Nobel for Cell Receptor Work

Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 06:51 AM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Two U.S. scientists won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering how cell receptors involved in about half of all medicines work.

Robert J. Lefkowitz, 69, of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and Brian K. Kobilka, 57, of Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, will share the 8 million-krona ($1.2 million) award, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said at a news conference today.

They received the prize for their work on “cells and sensibility,” the academy said. The men exposed the inner workings of the largest and most pervasive family of cell receptors, known as G-protein-coupled.

Lodged in the fatty membranes that surround cells, they are the body’s mechanism to read its environment and play a role in sight, smell, taste, as well as pain tolerance and blood pressure. The receptors are the targets of about half of all medicines, the academy said.

“Thanks to the work of Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka, we know what the receptor looks like in the finest molecular detail and we also know it’s just one of a huge family of receptors,” Sven Lidin, a member of the Nobel committee for chemistry, said at the Stockholm news conference. “Knowing how they work helps us to make better drugs with fewer side effects.”

Haircut Delayed

Lefkowitz, a professor of medicine at Duke and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, said he “didn’t have a clue” he would be in the running for the prize.

“I did not go to sleep last night waiting for this call,” he said by telephone at the news conference. “I’m feeling very, very excited. I was fast asleep and the phone rang and I didn’t hear it. I wear earplugs when I sleep and my wife gave me an elbow.”

He was planning on going to the office and getting haircut today though the haircut will have to wait because he said it will be “a crazy day at the office.”

Last year’s Nobel in chemistry was awarded to Dan Shechtman for his discovery of quasicrystals, which changed the prevailing views about the atomic structure of matter.

Annual prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature were established in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896. The Nobel Foundation was established in 1900 and the prizes were first handed out the following year. The Swedish science academy chooses the chemistry and physics winners.

The first chemistry prize was awarded to Jacobus H. van ’t Hoff for his work on rates of reaction, chemical equilibrium and osmotic pressure.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rick Perry Deletes 'Dos Equis' Tweet Mocking Drunk DA

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 18:09 PM

Texas Gov. Rick Perry scrambled to delete a humorous photo post on his Twitter site which, in a takeoff on the "Most Int . . .

Apple Probes Report ICloud Was Hacked to Gain Stars' Nude Photos

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 17:21 PM

Apple Inc., which is poised to unveil new iPhones next week, said it's investigating reports that hackers used its iClou . . .

Dem Rep. Larson on Congressional Recess: 'We're AWOL'

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 16:41 PM

A Democratic congressman has blasted Congress for going "AWOL" by taking its annual Fall recess, which is mandated under . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved