Nobel laureate: 'Joy, disbelief' at news

Randy Schekman, one of the recipients of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Medicine, told AFP Monday that he received the news with a mixture of "disbelief and joy."

Schekman, 64, won the world's most prestigious academic award along with two other researchers for work that has "solved the mystery of how the cell organises its transport system," the Nobel Committee said.

"My reaction when I heard about it was one of disbelief and joy," said Schekman, a professor of molecular and at the University of California at Berkeley.

He said that receiving the Nobel Prize, along with fellow American James Rothman and German-born Thomas Suedhof, was the culmination of nearly four decades of dedicated work.

"I've been at it for 37 years, and Rothman for a similar period of time," he said. "We realised 25 years ago that we were working on the same subject."

At the center of Schekman's research are vesicles, small packages that transport molecules around the cell.

Schekman discovered a set of genes that were required for vesicle traffic, using yeast as a model system when he began his research in the 1970s.

"Ordinary people can benefit from this basic research into how cells work, which has unexpected and dramatic implications for their own lives," he said.

According to the Nobel Committee, the research gives valuable insights into disease processes.

"Defective vesicle transport occurs in a variety of diseases, including a number of neurological and immunological disorders, as well as in diabetes," the committee said in its press release.

Schekman told AFP that even though his life had changed as of Monday, he was determined to carry on his research as before.

"The science will go on. We're very excited about what we're doing in our lab," he said.

His immediate plans were straightforward: "When the phones stop ringing, I plan to take a shower and get a second cup of coffee," he said.

He added it was "too early to say" what he would do with the .

The three laureates will share equally the sum of eight million Swedish kronor ($1.25 million, 925,000 euros).

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Five achievements that haven't won a Nobel Prize

Oct 07, 2013

The announcements of this year's Nobel Prize winners will start Monday with the medicine award and continue with physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics. The secretive award committees never give ...

Nobel chemistry prize to be announced in Stockholm

Oct 10, 2012

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences will announce the winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday, capping this year's science awards before the Nobel spotlight moves to literature and peace.

Recommended for you

Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

3 hours ago

Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed the most widely accepted theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98.

Mexican boy who had massive tumor recovering

13 hours ago

An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had pieces of a massive tumor removed and who drew international attention after U.S. officials helped him get treatment in the southwestern U.S. state of New Mexico is still recovering after ...

New medical device to make the mines safer

Nov 21, 2014

Dehydration can be a serious health issue for Australia's mining industry, but a new product to be developed with input from Flinders University's Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is set to more effectively ...

US family gets $6.75 million in Botox case

Nov 20, 2014

A New York couple who said Botox treatment of their son's cerebral palsy left him with life-threatening complications and sued its manufacturer won a $6.75 million verdict from a federal jury on Thursday.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.