The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2001

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2001 was awarded jointly to Leland H. Hartwell, Tim Hunt and Sir Paul M. Nurse “for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle.”

Nobelist Born Affiliation at the time of the award
Leland H. Hartwell 30 October 1939, Los Angeles, CA, USA Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA
Tim Hunt 19 February 1943, Neston, United Kingdom Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, United Kingdom
Sir Paul M. Nurse 25 January 1949, Norwich, United Kingdom Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, United Kingdom

Summary

All organisms consist of cells that multiply through cell division. An adult human being has approximately 100 000 billion cells, all originating from a single cell, the fertilized egg cell. In adults there is also an enormous number of continuously dividing cells replacing those dying. Before a cell can divide it has to grow in size, duplicate its chromosomes and separate the chromosomes for exact distribution between the two daughter cells. These different processes are coordinated in the cell cycle.

This year’s Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine have made seminal discoveries concerning the control of the cell cycle. They have identified key molecules that regulate the cell cycle in all eukaryotic organisms, including yeasts, plants, animals and human. These fundamental discoveries have a great impact on all aspects of cell growth. Defects in cell cycle control may lead to the type of chromosome alterations seen in cancer cells. This may in the long term open new possibilities for cancer treatment.

More details, please click The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2001.

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