Nobel Prize in Chemistry

2012

Robert J. Lefkowitz

Born: 15 April 1943 in New York, NY

Education:

-Bronx High School of Science

-Columbia University

-Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Place of Work When Awarded:

-Duke University Medical Center

-Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Field of Study: Biochemistry

Fun Facts:

-Jewish

-5 kids: David, Larry,Cheryl, Mara, & Joshua

Brian K. Kobilka

Born: 30 May 1955, Little Falls, MN

Education:

-Little Falls High School

-University of Minnesota

-Yale University Medical School

Place of Work When Awarded:

-Stanford University School of Medicine

Field of Study: Biochemistry

Fun Facts:

-Loves bicycling

-2 kids: Megan & Jason

What They Did


  • Mapped how a family of receptors called G-protein– coupled receptors (GPCRs) work
  • In order to find the receptors, Lefkowitz attached radioactive iodine to different hormones.
  • Once the hormones stuck to the surface of a cell, the radiation from the iodine then showed the location of the receptor
  • Lefkowitz focuses on receptors for adrenaline and nonadrenaline
  • Kobilka began to hunt for the gene in 1980s
  • Later, Lefkowitz concluded that there was a complete family of receptors that interact with G-Proteins
  • Created an image of the receptor by crystallizing the GPCR
  • Was discovered that receptors are multi-functional
Big image

Why They Won

Problem Solved: revealed new ways for medication to target illnesses

How it Added to Previous Knowledge: scientists knew of the existent of receptors, but knew very little about them. Lefkowitz and Kobilka identified receptors, explored their structures and their functions and captured an image of a receptor, furthering our information and knowledge of how to target cells.
How It's Being Used: in medicines
Future: information can be used to further engineer and create medicines targeting the receptors in cells