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

Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 06:51 AM


A    A   |
   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  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.

   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Ring Leader of Bell, Calif. Corruption Scheme Gets 12 Years

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 10:03 AM

The former city manager of Bell, California, who ran a public corruption scheme that bilked the blue-collar community ou . . .

Ohio Out-of-State Gay Marriage Ban in Effect During Appeal

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 09:57 AM

Ohio's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages from other states will stay in effect until its constitutionality is resolv . . .

GOP Eyes a Sebelius Candidacy to Boosts Its Coffers

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 06:49 AM

The GOP would relish the chance to exploit a candidacy by outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius . . .

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