Kate Baillie, CEO of the Biochemical Society, responded to the award of this year’s Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and Physiology or Medicine:
“The Biochemical Society congratulates Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka for their recognition by the Nobel Prize committee and awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. This award champions the importance of fundamental research into the structure and function of proteins in cells, a major branch of investigation in biochemistry. In revealing details of how G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) work, Lefkowitz and Kobilka threw open a huge new arena for cross-disciplinary research, in which we have been reaping rewards ever since as our understanding increases. This demonstrates the importance of biochemical research in making breakthroughs which can then be exploited to make important developments in, for example, drug design. GPCRs are present in most, if not all human cells, so the potential for the use of this knowledge remains enormous.
“We also greet the awarding of John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka with the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine enthusiastically. Their work on the basic systems of controlling cell development has enabled many more researchers to build on this research, to a point where we are able to manipulate the behaviour of mature and ‘stem’ cells in a number of ways. This has had a profound impact on this field of research around the world, which is exciting for researchers, medical practitioners and the broader public and paves the way for practical uses in medical treatment and diagnosis. Continued basic research at the biochemical level will increase this potential even further. We congratulate Gurdon and Yamanaka, as well as all the other 2012 Prize winners wholeheartedly.”
You can read more about the prizes at the Nobel Prize website.
Chemistry 2012: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2012/
Physiology or Medicine 2012: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2012/
All the Nobel Prizes: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/lists/all/