07 Oct 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, has awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to Dr James E Rothman, Dr Randy W Schekman and Dr Thomas C Südhof for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, which is a major transport system in human cells.
The three scientists have discovered the molecular principles that govern how vesicular cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time in the cell. While Dr Schekman discovered a set of genes that were required for vesicle traffic, Dr Rothman unravelled protein machinery that allows vesicles to fuse with their targets to permit transfer of cargo. Dr Südhof revealed how signals instruct vesicles to release their cargo with precision.
Dr Rothman, who was born 1950 in Haverhill, US, received his PhD from Harvard Medical School in 1976. He further received a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in 1978 moved to Stanford University, where he started his research on the vesicles of the cell. Dr Rothman has also worked at Princeton University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, Columbia University and Yale University, where he is currently in the Department of Cell Biology.
Dr Schekman, who was born 1948 in St Paul, Minnesota, US, studied at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and at Stanford University, where he obtained his PhD in 1974. In 1976, Dr Schekman joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, where he is currently professor in the department of molecular and cell biology. Dr Schekman is also an investigator of Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Dr Südhof was born in 1955 in Göttingen, Germany. He studied at the Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, where he received an MD in 1982 and a doctorate in neurochemistry the same year. In 1983, he moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, US, as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr Südhof became an investigator of Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1991 and was appointed professor of molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University in 2008.