1999 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine
The Rockefeller University
Cell biologist Günter Blobel won the 1999 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for establishing how the proteins that are constantly being produced within our cells are transported either out of the cell or to the different compartments (organelles) within the cell. Working at The Rockefeller University in New York in the early 1970s, he discovered that newly synthesized proteins have, in the words of his Nobel citation, "intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell." His findings have a direct bearing on diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Alzheimers disease, and AIDS.
Blobel was born in Waltersdorf, Germany, and received his medical degree from the University of Tübingen (1960) and a Ph.D. in oncology from the University of Wisconsin (1967). He joined The Rockefeller University faculty in 1969, becoming a full professor in 1976 and John D. Rockefeller Jr. Professor in 1992. When the Howard Hughes Medical Institute established a unit at the university in 1986, he was named an investigator. Blobel was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) in 1983 and in that same year received the academys Richard Lounsbery Award for Extraordinary Scientific Research. A member of the American Society for Cell Biology (president, 1990), he also received the societys E.B. Wilson Award in 1986.
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