Announced today, Brian K Kobilka (Faculty Member in Structural Biology) and Robert J Lefkowitz have jointly won this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on the inner workings of G-protein-coupled receptors. Congratulations, both!
G-protein–coupled receptors are an important family of receptors which allow cells to not only sense light, flavour and odour, but also receive histamine and hormone signals. These latter workings are particularly important since approximately half of all medications achieve their effect through G-protein–coupled receptors. The studies by Lefkowitz and Kobilka are crucial for understanding how G-protein–coupled receptors function.
Kobilka achieved another break-through in 2011. He and his research team captured an image of the β-adrenergic receptor at the exact moment it was activated by a hormone and sent a signal into the cell. This image was termed a ‘molecular masterpiece’ and was the result of decades of research.
Brian joins John Gurdon, Developmental Biology Faculty Member, as another F1000 Faculty Member to be awarded a Nobel Prize this year. Other F1000 Faculty to have received the prestigious award include Tim Hunt (2001), Section Head for Cell Biology; Roger Tsien (1998), Section Head for Chemical Biology; and Erwin Neher (1991), Faculty Member in Neuroscience.
In order to honor and celebrate these Nobel awards, Brian Kobilka’s and John Gurdon’s evaluations are free to view for all.