Skip to main content

Nobel medical prize goes to 2 Americans, 1 German

By David Simpson, CNN
updated 7:47 AM EDT, Fri October 11, 2013
The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine starts a week of announcements in Stockholm, Sweden.
The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine starts a week of announcements in Stockholm, Sweden.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Scientists solved a mystery of how cells deliver molecules
  • All three work at American universities
  • Prize announcements continue with physics Tuesday
  • Each prize, endowed by Alfred Nobel in 1895, comes with $1.2 million

(CNN) -- Two Americans and a German shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine this year.

Americans James E. Rothman and Randy W. Schekman, and German Thomas C. Sudhof were awarded the prize Monday for discoveries of how the body's cells decide when and where to deliver the molecules they produce.

The Nobel Assembly said the three "have solved the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system."

Their work focuses on tiny bubbles inside cells called vesicles, which move hormones and other molecules within cells and sometimes outside them, such as when insulin is released into the bloodstream.

Winners of the 2013 Medicine Nobel Prize
Winners of the 2013 Medicine Nobel Prize
Yale University professor Robert Shiller, famous for his warnings of the housing and Internet bubbles, is one of three Americans who were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics on Monday, October 14. The Nobel committee recognized Shiller and University of Chicago professors Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen for their work on the pricing of financial assets. Yale University professor Robert Shiller, famous for his warnings of the housing and Internet bubbles, is one of three Americans who were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics on Monday, October 14. The Nobel committee recognized Shiller and University of Chicago professors Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen for their work on the pricing of financial assets.
Nobel Prize winners of 2013
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
>
>>
Photos: Nobel Prize winners of 2013 Photos: Nobel Prize winners of 2013

Disruptions of this delivery system contribute to diabetes, neurological diseases and immunological disorders.

Rothman, a professor at Yale University, detailed how protein machinery allows vesicles in cells to fuse with their targets to permit the transfer of molecular cargo.

Schekman, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, was honored for discovering a set of genes required for the "vesicle traffic."

Sudhof, a professor at Stanford University, showed how vesicles are instructed precisely when to release molecules.

Schekman and Sudhof also are investigators at Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Monday's ceremony at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, will be followed by the announcement of the physics prize Tuesday, the chemistry prize Wednesday and the economics prize on October 14.

The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded in Oslo, Norway, on Friday. The prize for literature will be awarded on a date to be announced later. Each prize comes with 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million).

Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel created the prizes in 1895 to honor work in physics, chemistry, literature and peace. The first economics prize was awarded in 1969.

In 2012, the medical Nobel Prize was awarded to Sir John B. Gurdon of England and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan for work on reprogramming cells. Their work paved the way for treatment breakthroughs.

What to know: Nobel prizes

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about the delicate business of trying to get a hostage home alive.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
The accidental killing of a gun instructor raises an "absurd question," writes Mel Robbins.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
updated 2:44 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 5:57 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT