HHMI investigators have won Nobel Prizes in four of the past five years. In addition to Roderick MacKinnon, six other current HHMI investigators have won the Prize:
GÜNTER BLOBEL, at the Rockefeller University, won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery that certain proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell.
JOHANN DEISENHOFER, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work that used x-ray crystallography to describe the structure of a protein involved in photosynthesis.
H. ROBERT HORVITZ, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries that identified key genes regulating organ development and programmed cell death.
ERIC R. KANDEL, at Columbia University, shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system.
SUSUMU TONEGAWA, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, won the 1987 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the genetic principle for generation of antibody diversity.
ERIC WIESCHAUS, at Princeton University, shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work to discover and classify 15 genes of key importance in determining the body plan and the formation of body segments of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.
In addition, Institute President THOMAS R. CECH shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery that RNA in living cells is not only a molecule of heredity but also can function as a biocatalyst.
HHMI investigator DANIEL NATHANS, now deceased, shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics.
Two HHMI investigator alumni are also Nobel laureates. EDWIN G. KREBS, professor emeritus at the University of Washington, shared the 1992 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries concerning reversible protein phosphorylation as a biological regulatory mechanism. STANLEY B. PRUSINER, at the University of California, San Francisco, won the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of prions, a new biological principle of infection.
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Reprinted from the HHMI Bulletin,
December 2003, pages 18-23.
©2003 Howard Hughes Medical Institute