Two California professors share Nobel Prize
October 7, 2013
Scientists from Stanford and UC Berkeley share the 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine with a professor from Yale University. [SanJoseMercuryNews]
Scientists Dr. Thomas Sudhof of Stanford, Randy Schekman of UC Berkeley and James Rothman from Yale University solved the mystery of how a cell organizes its internal transportation system, controlling the creation and release of important hormones, enzymes and other molecules. Errors in the process inevitably lead to neurological diseases, diabetes, immunological disorders and ultimately death.
The men, who worked independently, each contributed a key part to the discoveries. The information has led to the success of the biotechnology industry by enlisting yeast to release useful protein drugs, such as insulin and human growth hormone.
Schekman decoded a set of genes that were required for the traffic of this cargo in vesicles. Südhof discovered how cellular signals instruct vesicles to release their cargo with precision. Rothman unraveled protein machinery that allows the vesicles to fuse with their targets to permit transfer.