This post was most recently updated on December 13th, 2015
It is of great interest to all Microbiology/Biomedical students to know about Microbiologist and their contribution for which they received Nobel prize. The Nobel Prize is the highest honour that a scientist can receive.
If we see the list of Nobel prize winners since the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded in 1901, we can find many microbiologists receiving this Nobel Prize.
In this article we are looking back and seeing microbiologists who have won a Nobel Prize. Some of the people who have won Nobel prize in the field of Microbiology or Immunology, may not be Microbiologist but may be Physician or Biochemist etc who have contributed in this field.
The following lists of Nobel Prizes that have been awarded to microbiologists gives outlines the progress of microbiology, molecular biology and Immunology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
1901 Emil Adolph Von Behring: Developed serum treatment, especially in diphtheria and got Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1901.
1902 Sir Ronald Ross: Discovered the life cycle of the malaria parasites in humans and mosquitoes thereby has laid the foundation for successful research on this disease and methods of combating it
1905 Robert Koch: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1905 was awarded to Robert Koch “for his investigations and discoveries in relation to tuberculosis”.
1907 Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran: Showed that the mosquito is the agent of transmission for malaria and the identification of the malaria parasite
1908 Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov ((Elie Metchnikoff; Father of Natural Immunity), Paul Ehrlich: Studied immune reactions and phagocytic cells
1912 Alexis Carrel: Developed organ and blood vessel transplantation
1913 Charles Robert Richet: Discovered and treated anaphylactic shock
1919 Jules Bordet: Made fundamental discoveries in immunity
1927 Julius Wagner- Jauregg Used malaria to treat late-stage syphilis
1928 Charles Nicolle Made fundamental discoveries epidemic typhus is transmitted by lice
1930 Karl Landsteiner Discovered the ABO human blood groups
1939 Gerhard Domagk Discovered sulfa drugs
1945 Sir Alexander Fleming Sir E. B. Chain Lord H. W. Florey Discovered and developed penicillin
1951 Max Theiler Developed vaccine for yellow fever
1952: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1952 was awarded to Selman A. Waksman “for his discovery of streptomycin, the first antibiotic effective against tuberculosis”.Selman A. Waksman Discovered streptomycin
1953: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1953 was divided equally between Hans Adolf Krebs “for his discovery of the citric acid cycle” and Fritz Albert Lipmann “for his discovery of co-enzyme A and its importance for intermediary metabolism”.
1954 The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1954 was awarded jointly to John Franklin Enders, Thomas Huckle Weller and Frederick Chapman Robbins “for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue” and for making polio vaccine possible
1957 Daniel Bovet Developed antihistamines and synthetic curare
1958 The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1958 was divided, one half jointly to George Wells Beadle and Edward Lawrie Tatum “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”.
1959 Severo Ochoa Arthur Kornberg Made fundamental discoveries on the synthesis of DNA and RNA
1960 F. M. Burnet Peter B. Medawar Discovered the basis of acquired immunological tolerance
1962 F. H. C. Crick J. D. Watson H. F. Wilkins Elucidated the molecular structure of DNA, The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962 was awarded jointly to Francis Harry Compton Crick, James Dewey Watson and Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”.
1965 : The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1965 was awarded jointly to François Jacob, André Lwoff and Jacques Monod “for their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis”.
1966 Charles B. Huggins Francis Peyton Rous Studied the role of hormones in causing cancer; demonstrated that viruses can cause cancer in animals
1969 M. Delbruck A. D. Hershey S. E. Luria Discovered genetic structure and replication of bacteriophage
1971 E. W. Sutherland, Jr. Made biochemical discoveries pertinent to pathogenesis
1972 Gerald M. Edelman Rodney R. Porter Determined the structure of immunoglobulins
1975 David Baltimore Howard Temin Renato Dulbecco Discovered reverse transcriptase and made fundamental discoveries on the interaction between tumor viruses and the host nucleic acid
1976 B. S. Blumberg D. C. Gajdusek Discovered antigen important in diagnosing serum hepatitis
1977 Rosalyn S. Yalow R. C. I. Guillemin A. V.Schally Demonstrated that the neurodegenerative disease kuru is caused by an “unconventional virus” now called a prion Developed radioimmunossay (RIA) techniques; used RIA to analyze peptide hormones in the brain
1978 Daniel Nathans H. O. Smith Werner Arber Used restriction enzymes to map viral genomes
1980 Baruj Benacerraf George Snell Jean Dausse Paul Berg Walter Gilbert Frederick Sanger Made fundamental contributions to the biochemistry of recombinant DNA Made fundamental contributions on the sequencing of DNA Studied genetically determined structures in the cell surface that regulate immunological reactions
1983 Barbara McClintock Kary Mullis Discovered mobile genetic elements (transposons) Developed the polymerase chain reaction
1984 Cesar Milstein Georges J. F. Koehler Niels Jerne Developed a method to produce large quantities of monoclonal antibodies
1987 Susumu Tonegawa Discovered the genetic basis of antibody diversity
1988 J. Deisenhofer R. Huber H. Michel Described the structure of photosynthetic reaction center in bacteria
1989 J. M. Bishop H. E. Varmus Discovered the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes, the proto-oncogenes
1990 Joseph E. Murray E. Donnall Thomas Advanced understanding of organ and cell transplantation in the treatment of human disease
1993 Michael Smith Developed a technique for generating site-specific mutants
1993: Kary Mullis has invented the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique in 1980s. The PCR technique was a breakthrough in our ability to detect tiny amounts of DNA and then amplify them into sufficient quantities. For this invention Kary Mullis won Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993 along with Michael Smith.
1996 Peter C. Doherty, Rolf M. Zinkernagel: Discovered how the immune system recognizes virus-infected cells
1997 Stanley B. Prusiner Discovered and characterized prions as a new biological infectious agent containing only protein and no nucleic acid
2001 Leland Hartwell Paul Nurse Tim Hunt Identified key molecular steps in the cell cycle using yeast as a model organism
2005: Barry Marshall and Robin Warren: For the identification of Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease
2008 the Nobel Prize was shared between Harald zur Hausen, for his discovery that human papillomaviruses can cause cervical cancer, and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier, for their discovery of HIV
2011 Bruce A. Beutler Jules A. Hoffmann Ralph M. Steinman Discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity Discovered the role of dendritic cell in adaptive immunity