Nobel laureate: 'Joy, disbelief' at news

October 7, 2013

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).

Explore further: Two Americans, German win Nobel medicine prize (Update 3)

Related Stories

Two Americans, German win Nobel medicine prize (Update 3)

October 7, 2013
Two Americans and a German-American won the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for discovering how key substances are transported within cells, a process involved in such important activities as brain cell communication and ...

Nobel jury caught off guard by death of laureate

October 3, 2011
The Nobel Medicine Prize jury was caught off guard Monday when it honoured a Canadian scientist who unbeknownst to them died just days before the announcement, with prize rules forbidding posthumous awards.

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 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.