News / USA

Nobel Chemistry Prize Awarded to American Duo

Images of researchers Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka (R) are seen on a projector during a news conference by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, October 10, 2012.
Images of researchers Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka (R) are seen on a projector during a news conference by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, October 10, 2012.
VOA News
Americans Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka have been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced the winners of the prestigious prize on Wednesday.

2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Robert Lefkowitz

  • Born in New York in 1943
  • Earned MD from Columbia University in 1966
  • Works with Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University Medical Center
  • Used radioactivity to trace cells's receptors and found the one for adrenalin

Brian Kobilka

  • Born in Minnesota in 1955
  • Earned MD from Yale University School of Medicine in 1981
  • Professor of Medicine, and Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Isolated the gene that codes for the adrenalin receptor
Lefkowitz and Kobilka won for their research on G-protein coupled receptors, a part of the cell which affects how pharmaceutical drugs are absorbed by the body.

Lefkowitz, a professor at Duke University in North Carolina, said he was "shocked and surprised" upon hearing the news, adding that he was asleep when the call came in. 

Kobilka is a professor at Stanford University in California.

Nobel prize announcements began Monday with the medicine prize going to stem cell researchers John Gurdon of Britain and Japan's Shinya Yamanaka. Frenchman Serge Haroche and American David Wineland won the physics prize on Tuesday for work on quantum particles.

The Nobel prize for literature will be announced on Thursday, and the prestigious Peace Prize on Friday. 

The Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences will be announced on October 15.

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