Congratulations to Drs. Randy W. Schekman, Thomas C. Südhof and James E. Rothman (above left to right) for earning the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research in “discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.”
Cells often make products like hormones and neurotransmitters that need to exit the cell in order to simulate or inhibit other cells. The reason these three scientists were selected for the award is that their research discovered how cells regulate the export of vesicles containing these products.
According to the Press Release, “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.”
“The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – Press Release”. Nobelprize.org.Nobel Media AB 2013. Web. 10 Oct 2013. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2013/press.html>