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Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

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  • George E. Palade (1912 - 2008)
    George Emil Palade (November 19, 1912 – October 8, 2008) was a Romanian-American cell biologist. He was described as "the most influential cell biologist ever"; in 1974 he was awarded the Nobel ...
  • Fritz Albert Lipmann (1899 - 1986)
    Fritz Albert Lipmann, ForMemRS[1] (June 12, 1899 – July 24, 1986) was a German-American biochemist and a co-discoverer in 1945 of coenzyme A. For this, together with other research on coenzyme...
  • Max Delbrück (1906 - 1981)
  • Edmond Henri Fischer (1920 - d.)
    Edmond H. Fischer - Biographical Memories of my early childhood are clouded with uncertainties because I was essentially separated from my parents since the early age of seven. I was born in Shanghai...
  • Sir Ernst Boris Chain, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1945 (1906 - 1979)
    Sir Ernst Boris Chain , FRS (19 June 1906 – 12 August 1979) was a German-born British biochemist, and a 1945 co-recipient (with Sir Howard Florey and Sir Alexander Fleming) of the Nobel Prize fo...

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes, the Nobel Prizes. As described in Nobel's will, one part was dedicated to “the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine”. The Medicine Prize has subsequently highlighted a number of important discoveries including penicillin, genetic engineering and blood-typing.

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet is responsible for selecting the Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine. The Nobel Assembly has 50 voting members and is composed of professors in medical subjects at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Its working body is the Nobel Committee, elected from among its members for a three-year term.

The 105 Nobel Prizes for Physiology or Medicine have been awarded to 204 individuals (to 2014), of which 11 women have won the prize. There have been 38 times when the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to a single individual, 32 times when it was shared by two and 34 times there were three winner, the maximum allowed.

Youngest Medicine Laureate: To date, the youngest Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine is Frederick G. Banting, who was 32 years old when he was awarded the Medicine Prize in 1923.

Oldest Medicine Laureate: The oldest Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine to date is Peyton Rous, who was 87 years old when he was awarded the Medicine Prize in 1966.

Oldest living Nobel Laureate: The Nobel Laureate who lived to the oldest age was Rita Levi-Montalcini, who was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. She was the first Nobel laureate ever to reach a 100th birthday. She celebrated her 103th anniversary on 22 April 2012 and passed away on December 30, 2012.

All Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded 104 times to 204 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2014. It was not awarded on nine occasions: in 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1925, 1940, 1941 and 1942.


  • 2014: divided, one half awarded to John O'Keefe (b. 1939) American-British neuroscientist, the other half jointly to May-Britt Moser (b. 1963) Norwegian psychologist and neuroscientist; and to her husband Edvard I. Moser (b. 1962) Norwegian psychologist and neuroscientist, "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain".
  • 2013: jointly to: James E. Rothman (b. 1950) American cell biologist, and to: Randy W. Schekman (b. 1948) American cell biologist, and to: Thomas C. Südhof, (b. 1955) German-born American cell biologist, "for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells".
  • 2012: jointly to: Sir John B. Gurdon (b. 1933) British developmental biologist, and to: Shinya Yamanaka, 山中 伸弥 (b. 1962) Japanese physician and cell biologist., "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent".
  • 2011: one half jointly to: Bruce A. Beutler (b. 1957) American immunologist and geneticist, and to: Jules A. Hoffmann (b. 1941) Luxembourgish-born French biologist, "for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity", and one half to: Ralph M. Steinman (1943 – 2011) Canadian immunologist and cell biologist "for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity".
  • 2010 Robert G. Edwards
  • 2009 Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider, Jack W. Szostak
  • 2008 Harald zur Hausen, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Luc Montagnier
  • 2007 Mario R. Capecchi, Sir Martin J. Evans, Oliver Smithies
  • 2006 Andrew Z. Fire, Craig C. Mello
  • 2005 Barry J. Marshall, J. Robin Warren
  • 2004 Richard Axel, Linda B. Buck
  • 2003 Paul C. Lauterbur, Sir Peter Mansfield
  • 2002 Sydney Brenner, Molecular Sciences, Robert Horvitz, John E. Sulston
  • 2001 Leland H. Hartwell, Tim Hunt, Sir Paul M. Nurse
  • 2000 Arvid Carlsson, Paul Greengard, Rockefeller University; Eric R. Kandel, Columbia
  • 1999 Günter Blobel
  • 1998 Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro, Ferid Murad
  • 1997 Stanley B. Prusiner, winner for his discovery of prions,
  • 1996 Peter C. Doherty, Rolf M. Zinkernagel
  • 1995 Edward B. Lewis, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Eric F. Wieschaus
  • 1994 Alfred G. Gilman, Martin Rodbell
  • 1993 Richard J. Roberts, Phillip A. Sharp
  • 1992 Edmond H. Fischer, Edwin G. Krebs
  • 1991 Erwin Neher, Bert Sakmann
  • 1990 Joseph E. Murray, E. Donnall Thomas
  • 1989 J. Michael Bishop, Harold E. Varmus
  • 1988 Sir James W. Black, Gertrude B. Elion, George H. Hitchings
  • 1987 Susumu Tonegawa
  • 1986: jointly to: Stanley Cohen, (b. 1922) American biochemist, and Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909 - 2012) Italian Neurobiologist, the longest lived Nobel Prize Winner in history - "for their discoveries of growth factors".
  • 1985 Michael S. Brown, Joseph L. Goldstein
  • 1984 Niels K. Jerne, Georges J.F. Köhler, César Milstein
  • 1983: to Barbara McClintock (1902 – 1992) American cytogeneticists, "for her discovery of mobile genetic elements".
  • 1982 Sune K. Bergström, Bengt I. Samuelsson, John R. Vane
  • 1981 Roger W. Sperry, David H. Hubel, Torsten N. Wiesel
  • 1980 Baruj Benacerraf, Jean Dausset, George D. Snell
  • 1979 Allan M. Cormack, Godfrey N. Hounsfield
  • 1978 Werner Arber, Daniel Nathans, Hamilton O. Smith
  • 1977 Roger Guillemin, Andrew V. Schally, Rosalyn Yalow
  • 1976 Baruch S. Blumberg, D. Carleton Gajdusek
  • 1975 David Baltimore, Renato Dulbecco, Howard Martin Temin
  • 1974: jointly to: Albert Claude () , to Christian de Duve, and to: George E. Palade
  • 1973 Karl von Frisch, Konrad Lorenz, Nikolaas Tinbergen
  • 1972 Gerald M. Edelman, Rodney R. Porter
  • 1971 Earl W. Sutherland, Jr.
  • 1970 Sir Bernard Katz, Ulf von Euler, Julius Axelrod
  • 1969: Max Delbrück, Alfred D. Hershey, Salvador E. Luria
  • 1968: Robert W. Holley, Har Gobind Khorana, Marshall W. Nirenberg
  • 1967: Ragnar Granit, Haldan Keffer Hartline, George Wald
  • 1966: Peyton Rous, Charles Brenton Huggins
  • 1965: François Jacob (1920 - 2013) French biologist, André Lwoff (1902 - 1994) French microbiologist & Jacques Monod (1910 - 1976) French biologist, "for their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis".
  • 1964: jointly to: Konrad Bloch (1912 - 2000) German-born American biochemist, and Feodor Lynen (1911 - 1979) German biochemist, "for their discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism".
  • 1963: jointly to: Sir John Carew Eccles (1903 - 1997) Australian neurophysiologist, Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin (1914 - 1998) British physiologist and biophysicist, & Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley (b. 1917) English physiologist and biophysicist, "for their discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane".
  • 1962: jointly to: Francis Harry Compton Crick, (1916 – 2004) English molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist and to James Dewey Watson (born 1928) American Biologist (born 1928) & Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins, "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material".
  • 1961: Georg von Békésy
  • 1960: jointly to: [ Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet], and to [ Peter Brian Medawar]
  • 1959: jointly to: Arthur Kornberg (1915 - 2008) American biochemist of Jewish descent & Severo Ochoa (1905 - 1993), American-Spanish biochemist, "for their discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid".
  • 1958: jointly to: Edward Lawrie Tatum (1909 - 1975) American biochemist, "for their discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events", and the other half to: Joshua Lederberg "for his discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material of bacteria".
  • 1957: Daniel Bovet
  • 1956: jointly to: [ André Frédéric Cournand] , [ Werner Forssmann], & Dickinson W. Richards American medical researcher (1895 - 1973), "for their discoveries concerning heart catheterization and pathological changes in the circulatory system".
  • 1955: Axel Hugo Theodor Theorell
  • 1954: jointly to: Frederick Chapman Robbins (1916 - 2003) American pediatrician and virologist, "for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue"
  • 1953 Hans Adolf Krebs, Fritz Albert Lipmann
  • 1952 Selman Abraham Waksman
  • 1951 Max Theiler
  • 1950: jointly: Edward Calvin Kendall, Tadeus Reichstein, Philip Showalter Hench
  • 1949: jointly to: Walter Rudolf Hess, (1881 - 1973) Swiss physiologist "for his discovery of the functional organization of the interbrain as a coordinator of the activities of the internal organs", and to Egas Moniz (1874 - 1955) Portuguese neurologist and the developer of cerebral angiography, "for his discovery of the therapeutic value of leucotomy in certain psychoses".
  • 1948: Paul Hermann Müller
  • 1947: jointly: half the prize to: Bernardo Alberto Houssay (1887 - 1971) Argentinian physiologist, "for his discovery of the part played by the hormone of the anterior pituitary lobe in the metabolism of sugar".
  • 1946: Hermann Joseph Muller (1890 – 1967) American geneticist, educator, "for the discovery that mutations can be induced by x-rays".
  • 1945: jointly to: Sir Alexander Fleming (1881 - 1955) British physician and microbiologist, to Sir Ernst B. Chain (1906 - 1979) British Biochemist of Jewish origin from Germany, and to [ Sir Howard Walter Florey] (1898 - 1955) British pathologist, "for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases".
  • 1944 Joseph Erlanger, Herbert Spencer Gasser
  • 1943 Henrik Carl Peter Dam, Edward Adelbert Doisy
  • 1942: No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
  • 1941: No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
  • 1940: No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
  • 1939 Gerhard Domagk
  • 1938 Corneille Jean François Heymans
  • 1937 Albert von Szent-Györgyi Nagyrápolt
  • 1936. jointly to: Sir Henry Hallett Dale (1875 – 1968) British physiologist , and Otto Loewi (1873 – 1961) German-born Austrian & American scientist, "for their discoveries relating to chemical transmission of nerve impulses"
  • 1935 Hans Spemann
  • 1934: jointly to: [ George Hoyt Whipple] (1878 – 1976) American medical researcher, George Richards Minot (1885 – 1950) American medical researcher, & [ William Parry Murphy] (1892 – 1987) American medical researcher, "for their discoveries concerning liver therapy in cases of anaemia".
  • 1933: Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866 - 1945) American embryologist , "for his discoveries concerning the role played by the chromosome in heredity".
  • 1932 Sir Charles Scott Sherrington, Edgar Douglas Adrian
  • 1931 Otto Heinrich Warburg
  • 1930: Karl Landsteiner (1868 – 1943), Austrian biologist and physician, "for his discovery of human blood groups".
  • 1929 Christiaan Eijkman, Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins
  • 1928 Charles Jules Henri Nicolle
  • 1927 Julius Wagner-Jauregg
  • 1926: Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger (1867 – 1928) Danish physician, and professor of pathological anatomy, "for his discovery of the Spiroptera carcinoma".
  • 1925: No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
  • 1924 Willem Einthoven
  • 1923: jointly to: Frederick Grant Banting (1891 – 1941) Canadian medical scientist, and to John James Rickard Macleod (1876 – 1935) Scottish biochemist and physiologist "for the discovery of insulin".
  • 1922: Archibald Vivian Hill, "for his discovery relating to the production of heat in the muscle" and Otto Fritz Meyerhof (1884 – 1951) German-born physician and biochemist, "for his discovery of the fixed relationship between the consumption of oxygen and the metabolism of lactic acid in the muscle"
  • 1921: No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
  • 1920: Schack August Steenberg Krogh (1874 - 1949) Danish Medical Scientist, "for his discovery of the capillary motor regulating mechanism"
  • 1919 Jules Bordet
  • 1918: No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
  • 1917: No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
  • 1916: No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
  • 1915: No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
  • 1914 Robert Bárány
  • 1913 Charles Robert Richet
  • 1912 Alexis Carrel
  • 1911 Allvar Gullstrand
  • 1910 Albrecht Kossel
  • 1909: Emil Theodor Kocher
  • 1908: jointly to: Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov (1845 – 1916) Russian biologist, & Paul Ehrlich (1854 – 1915) German Jewish Immunologist, "in recognition of their work on immunity".
  • 1907 Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran
  • 1906 Camillo Golgi, Santiago Ramón y Cajal
  • 1905: Robert Koch (1843 – 1910) German physician, considered one of the founders of microbiology, "for his investigations and discoveries in relation to tuberculosis".
  • 1904: Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849 – 1936) Russian physiologist, "in recognition of his work on the physiology of digestion, through which knowledge on vital aspects of the subject has been transformed and enlarged".
  • 1903: Niels Ryberg Finsen (1860 – 1904) Faroese-Danish physician and scientist, "in recognition of his contribution to the treatment of diseases, especially lupus vulgaris, with concentrated light radiation, whereby he has opened a new avenue for medical science". The first Danish winner
  • 1902: Ronald Ross (1857 – 1932) British physician, "for his work on malaria, by which he has shown how it enters the organism and thereby has laid the foundation for successful research on this disease and methods of combating it". He identified the mosquito as the transmitter of malaria.
  • 1901: Emil Adolf von Behring (1854 –1917) German physiologist, "for his work on serum therapy, especially its application against diphtheria, by which he has opened a new road in the domain of medical science and thereby placed in the hands of the physician a victorious weapon against illness and deaths".


  • From SA Max Theiler, (1899-1972.) Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for vaccine for Yellow Fever.
  • From SA Allan McLeod Cormack (1924-1998.) Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for x-ray tomography. Born and studied in SA. X-ray work started in Cape Town before emigration to USA. Co-inventor of the CT scanner.
  • From SA Sydney Brenner (1927-) Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002 for work in RNA biology. Born and educated in SA, moved to England to pursue research work]