Americans win Nobel chemistry prize
Research by Robert J. Lefkowitz (L) and Brian K. Kobilka (R) on have increased understanding of how cells sense chemicals.
October 10th, 2012
05:54 AM ET

Americans win Nobel chemistry prize

Two American scientists won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work revealing protein receptors on the surface of cells that tell them what is going on in the human body. The achievements have allowed drug makers to develop medication with fewer side effects.

Over four decades of research by Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka on "G-protein-coupled receptors," have increased understanding of how cells sense chemicals in the bloodstream, according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awarded the prize.

"I'm feeling very, very excited," Lefkowitz said in a predawn phone call from the United States to the committee in Stockholm, Sweden. The announcement caught him by surprise.

"Did I even have any inkling that it was coming?" he said. "I'd have to say no."

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soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Mary

    Looks like were're going to play this game all day long.

    October 10, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    @Mary GM

    Not me. Lets move on.

    October 10, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. lynn

    So tired of the pharmacuticals and their monopoly. Go big money!

    October 10, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. dazzle ©

    I have the following framed on my office door as a tribute to those that suffer from an anxiety disease:
    And no Grand Inquisitor has in readiness such terrible tortures as has anxiety, and no spy knows how to attack more artfully the man he suspects, choosing the instant when he is weakest, nor knows how to lay traps where he will be caught and ensnared, as anxiety knows how, and no sharpwitted judge knows how to interrogate, to examine the accused as anxiety does, which never lets him escape, neither by diversion nor by noise, neither at work nor at play, neither by day nor by night. Soren Kierkegaard, The Concept of the Dread

    October 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @CNN Moderators, let's stop this awaiting moderation nonsense, the comment is on topic and a quote from Soren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Dread.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    Philip's post

    Good Morning.
    I don't buy-in to this notion that drug makers even want to make pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.
    The pharmaceutical industry designs drugs to be addictive. It's legal for them to do, so why wouldn't they add addictive substances? Why wouldn't the tobacco industry add addictive chemicals to their products? It's perfectly acceptable under current laws.
    There is a group of concerned citizens trying to have those laws changed...trying to force Big Pharma to be required to explain these addictive substances and why it is they are added to our medications. They have a website. Please hear them out. ty

    October 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BOMBO ©

    Hey, I just realized something.

    I'm almost 50 and I've been working in routine labs for my entire career. That means....I will never ever win one of these.

    Don't worry. I'll be OK. Sniff.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Actually, BOMBO, you were the first person I thought of.
      Therefore, I will award you Banasy's Award For Being Out Standing In Your Field.
      (The back forty, I'll assume).

      And doesn't Eugene Levy look nice with his eyebrows trimmed?

      October 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      Thanks banasy. I'll let the bank know there's a big cheque coming right away!

      October 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©


      October 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Give me your bank account information, and I'll wire it directly!

      October 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      I've been putting everything into a Nigerian account for the past 5 years. But I can't seem to withdraw anything. Some Army General is supposed to put $400,000,000 into it any day. I'm sure General Mmbasui will sort it all out, though.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Not really attractive acronyms, are they?

      October 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Wow, you'd think that guy would have it all staightened out by now, given he's been doing *that* for about 40 years, also!
      Those wily Nigerians...

      October 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BOMBO ©

    But Eugene Levy and Anderson Cooper did. Congrats.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Athenos

    From the full story, for those too lazy to read it:

    "Kobilka achieved another break-through" in 2011, the academy said in a news release: a photographic image of a hormone triggering a receptor to send an impulse into its cell.

    "This image is a molecular masterpiece - the result of decades of research," the academy said.

    Humans experience G-protein-coupled receptors most consciously when they smell, see and taste, the academy explained in a background doc ument. But within the body, they sense "signaling substances, such as adrenalin, serotonin, histamine and dopamine."

    "They serve as the gateway to the cells," Lefkowitz said."

    This encompasses much more than just SSRI's.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      See, there are actually some people who put some thought into their posts. Take that, Mayor of the Internet. And Philip.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Athenos

      I loathe deliberately misleading information of any sort, even if it is the Internet.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Science Nerd

    If you want to learn more about what they won the prize for, there's a iBook in iTunes about about how cells respond to stimuli, it's pretty cool (lots of animations and 3D models of receptors and molecules that you can rotate with your finger). It's called "Cell Signaling" and it's in the science and nature section of textbooks.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
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