Nobel Prize in medicine goes to two Americans, German for discovery of cell transport system
Americans James Rothman and Randy Schekman and German-born researcher Thomas Suedhof won the 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for discoveries on how hormones, enzymes and other key substances are transported within cells.
This traffic control system keeps activities inside cells from descending into chaos and has helped researchers gain a better understanding of a range of diseases including diabetes and disorders affecting the immune system, the committee said.
Working in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the three researchers made groundbreaking discoveries about how tiny bubbles called vesicles act as cargo carriers inside cells. Above all, their work helps explain “how this cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time” the committee said.
“Imagine hundreds of thousands of people who are travelling around hundreds of miles of streets; how are they going to find the right way? Where will the bus stop and open its doors so that people can get out?” Nobel committee secretary Goran Hansson said. “There are similar problems in the cell.” (Photo: AFP PHOTO /NOBELPRIZEMEDICINE)