Yale Professor Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine

Oct 7, 2013

James Rothman
Credit Yale University

There is a brand-new Nobel Laureate in the Nutmeg State. Yale University professor James Rothman is one of three researchers to win the 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries on how hormones, enzymes and other key substances are transported within cells.

The other two winners are Randy Schekman from the University of California at Berkeley and Thomas Südhof from Stanford University.

Rothman is recognized for unraveling "protein machinery that allows vesicles to fuse with their targets to permit transfer of cargo," the Nobel Prize committee said in a statement.

Huh? NPR's Richard Harris explains how the research of the three winners interconnects (note: language is safe for non-scientists).

Rothman "figured out the mechanism that allows cells to this little molecular dance," said Harris.

The award didn't come quick. Rothman told the Associated Press his project started in 1978. He does not know how the Nobel Prize might affect his career moving forward though. He will reapply for funding that he previously lost and he hopes the recognition will help restore the money. The recipients will split the $1.2 million prize.