The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to three researchers responsible for unravelling the complex world of cellular transport.
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof for “their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.”
Vesicles are small packages of molecules such as hormones or neurotransmitters and are a key unit in intracellular transport.
According to the Assembly:
“Randy Schekman discovered a set of genes that were required for vesicle traffic. James Rothman unravelled protein machinery that allows vesicles to fuse with their targets to permit transfer of cargo. Thomas Südhof revealed how signals instruct vesicles to release their cargo with precision.
Through their discoveries, Rothman, Schekman and Südhof have revealed the exquisitely precise control system for the transport and delivery of cellular cargo. Disturbances in this system have deleterious effects and contribute to conditions such as neurological diseases, diabetes, and immunological disorders.”
You can read more about the award on the Nobel Prize website.