A Rousing List of Nobel Prize Winners in Physiology or Medicine

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List of Nobel Prize Winners in Physiology or Medicine

Alfred Nobel mentioned ‘Physiology or Medicine’ as the third subject area in his will for distribution of the Nobel Prize. Check out the following list of all the laureates who were honored for their contribution in the subject of Physiology or Medicine.

“I started my career as a surgeon 25 years ago. But it turned out that I am not talented as a surgeon, so I decided to change my career. But I still feel that I am a doctor. So my goal, all my life, is to bring this stem-cell technology to the bedside.”
~ Shinya Yamanaka (Nobel Prize Winner, 2012)

The ‘dynamite’ inventor, Alfred Nobel, mentioned five subject areas for the distribution of the Nobel Prize, with ‘Physiology or Medicine’ being one of them. The award is given on an annual basis, and consists of a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money.

In the year 1974, the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation decided that no prize would be awarded posthumously, unless the death occurred after the prize was announced. However, in the year 2011, after the announcement of the prize, it was discovered that one of the medical laureates, Ralph Steinman, passed away three days earlier. After a discussion it was decided by the Nobel Foundation to award the prize as it was declared without knowing of his death.

In the field of Physiology or Medicine, 104 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 204 individuals for their extra-ordinary performance. Of these, 38 prizes have been awarded to a single laureate, 32 prizes shared between two laureates, and 34 prizes have been shared between three laureates. The rules of the prize prohibit it being shared by more than 3 people.

* Nobelprize.org

List of Laureates


Emil A. von Behring (Germany)
“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”
Sir Ronald Ross (United Kingdom)
“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”
Niels R. Finsen (Denmark)
“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”
Ivan P. Pavlov (Russia)
“in recognition of his work on the physiology of digestion, through which knowledge on vital aspects of the subject has been transformed and enlarged”
Robert Koch (Germany)
“for his investigations and discoveries in relation to tuberculosis”
Camillo Golgi (Italy)
Santiago Ramón y Cajal (Spain)
“in recognition of their work on the structure of the nervous system”
Charles L.A. Laveran (France)
“in recognition of his work on the role played by protozoa in causing diseases”
Paul Ehrlich (Germany)
Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov (France, Russia)
“in recognition of their work on immunity”
Emil Theodor Kocher (Switzerland)
“for his work on the physiology, pathology and surgery of the thyroid gland”
Albrecht Kossel (Germany)
“in recognition of the contributions to our knowledge of cell chemistry made through his work on proteins, including the nucleic substances”
Allvar Gullstrand (Sweden)
“for his work on the dioptrics of the eye”
Alexis Carrel (France)
“in recognition of his work on vascular suture and the transplantation of blood vessels and organs”
Charles R. Richet (France)
“in recognition of his work on anaphylaxis”
Robert Bárány (Austria)
“for his work on the physiology and pathology of the vestibular apparatus”
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year 1915
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year 1916
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year
Jules Bordet (Belgium)
“for his discoveries relating to immunity”
Schack A.S. Krogh (Denmark)
“for his discovery of the capillary motor regulating mechanism”


No Nobel Prize was awarded this year 1921
Archibald V. Hill (United Kingdom)
“for his discovery relating to the production of heat in the muscle”
Otto Meyerhof (Germany)
“for his discovery of the fixed relationship between the consumption of oxygen and the metabolism of lactic acid in the muscle”
Frederick G. Banting (Canada)
John J. R. Macleod (Scotland)
“for the discovery of insulin”
Willem Einthoven (Netherlands)
“for his discovery of the mechanism of the electrocardiogram”
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year 1925
Johannes A.G. Fibiger (Denmark)
“for his discovery of the Spiroptera carcinoma”
Julius Wagner-Jauregg (Austria)
“for his discovery of the therapeutic value of malaria inoculation in the treatment of dementia paralytica”
Charles J.H. Nicolle (France)
“for his work on typhus”
Christiaan Eijkman (Netherlands)
“for his discovery of the antineuritic vitamin”
Sir Frederick G. Hopkins (United Kingdom)
“for his discovery of the growth-stimulating vitamins”
Karl Landsteiner (United States)
“for his discovery of human blood groups”
Otto H. Warburg (Germany)
“for his discovery of the nature and mode of action of the respiratory enzyme”
Edgar D. Adrian (United Kingdom)
Sir Charles S. Sherrington (United Kingdom)
“for their discoveries regarding the functions of neurons”
Thomas H. Morgan (United States)
“for his discoveries concerning the role played by the chromosome in heredity”
George R. Minot (United States)
William P. Murphy (United States)
G.H. Whipple (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning liver therapy in cases of anemia”
Hans Spemann (Germany)
“for his discovery of the organizer effect in embryonic development”
Sir Henry H. Dale (United Kingdom)
Otto Loewi (United States)
“for their discoveries relating to chemical transmission of nerve impulses”
Albert Szent-Györgi von Nagyrapolt (Hungary, United States)
“for his discoveries in connection with the biological combustion processes, with special reference to vitamin C and the catalysis of fumaric acid”
Corneille J. F. Heymans (Belgium)
“for the discovery of the role played by the sinus and aortic mechanisms in the regulation of respiration”
Gerhard Domagk (Germany)
“for the discovery of the antibacterial effects of prontosil”
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year 1940


No Nobel Prize was awarded this year 1941
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year 1942
Carl Peter Henrik Dam (Denmark)
“for his discovery of vitamin K”
Edward A. Doisy (United States)
“for his discovery of the chemical nature of vitamin K”
Joseph Erlanger (United States)
Herbert S. Gasser (United States)
“for their discoveries relating to the highly differentiated functions of single nerve fibers”
Sir Alexander Fleming (United Kingdom)
Sir Ernst Boris Chain (United Kingdom)
Howard Walter Florey (Australia)
“for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases”
Hermann J. Muller (United States)
“for the discovery of the production of mutations by means of X-ray irradiation”
Carl Ferdinand Cori (United States)
Gerty Theresa Cori, née Radnitz (United States)
“for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen”
Bernardo A. Houssay (Argentina)
“for his discovery of the part played by the hormone of the anterior pituitary lobe in the metabolism of sugar”
Paul Hermann Müller (Switzerland)
“for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods”
Walter R. Hess (Switzerland)
“for his discovery of the functional organization of the interbrain as a coordinator of the activities of the internal organs”
António Moniz (Portugal)
“for his discovery of the therapeutic value of leucotomy (lobotomy) in certain psychoses”
Philip S. Hench (United States)
Edward C. Kendall (United States)
Tadeus Reichstein (Switzerland)
“for their discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structure and biological effects”
Max Theiler (United States, South Africa)
“for his discoveries concerning yellow fever and how to combat it”
Selman A. Waksman (United States)
“for his discovery of streptomycin, the first antibiotic effective against tuberculosis”
Sir Hans Adolf Krebs (United Kingdom)
“for his discovery of the citric acid cycle”
Fritz Albert Lipmann (United States)
“for his discovery of co-enzyme A and its importance for intermediary metabolism”
John Franklin Enders (United Kingdom)
Frederick Chapman Robbins (United Kingdom)
Thomas Huckle Weller (United Kingdom)
“for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue”
Axel Hugo Theodor Theorell (Sweden)
“for his discoveries concerning the nature and mode of action of oxidation enzymes”
André Frédéric Cournand (United States)
Werner Forssmann (Germany)
Dickinson W. Richards (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning heart catheterization and pathological changes in the circulatory system”
Daniel Bovet (Italy)
“for his discoveries relating to synthetic compounds that inhibit the action of certain body substances, and especially their action on the vascular system and the skeletal muscles”
Joshua Lederberg (United States)
“for his discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material of bacteria”
George W. Beadle (United States)
Edward L. Tatum (United States)
“for their discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events”
Arthur Kornberg (United States)
Severo Ochoa (United States, Spain)
“for their discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid”
Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (Australia)
Sir Peter Brian Medawar
(United Kingdom, Brazil)
“for discovery of acquired immunological tolerance”


Georg von Békésy (United States)
“for his discoveries of the physical mechanism of stimulation within the cochlea”
Francis Harry Compton Crick (United Kingdom)
James Dewey Watson (United States)
Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins (United Kingdom, New Zealand)
“for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”
Sir John Carew Eccles (Australia)
Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin (United Kingdom)
Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley (United Kingdom)
“for their discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane”
Konrad Bloch (United States)
Feodor Lynen (Germany)
“for their discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism”
François Jacob (France)
André Lwoff (France)
Jacques Monod (France)
“for their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis”
Peyton Rous (United States)
“for his discovery of tumor-inducing viruses”
Charles Brenton Huggins (United States)
“for his discoveries concerning hormonal treatment of prostatic cancer”
Ragnar Granit (Finland, Sweden)
Haldan Keffer Hartline (United States)
George Wald (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning the primary physiological and chemical visual processes in the eye”
Robert W. Holley (United States)
Har Gobind Khorana (India)
Marshall W. Nirenberg (United States)
“for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis”
Max Delbrück (United States)
Alfred D. Hershey (United States)
Salvador E. Luria (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses”
Julius Axelrod (United States)
Ulf von Euler
Sir Bernard Katz
(United Kingdom)
“for their discoveries concerning the humoral transmittors in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation”
Earl W. Sutherland, Jr. (United States)
“for his discoveries concerning the mechanisms of the action of hormones”
Gerald M. Edelman (United States)
Rodney R. Porter (United Kingdom)
“for their discoveries concerning the chemical structure of antibodies”
Karl von Frisch (Germany)
Konrad Lorenz (Austria)
Nikolaas Tinbergen (United Kingdom)
“for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behavior patterns”
Albert Claude (Belgium)
Christian de Duve (Belgium, United States)
George E. Palade (Romania, United States)
“for their discoveries concerning the structural and functional organization of the cell”
David Baltimore (United States)
Renato Dulbecco (United States, Italy)
Howard Martin Temin (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell”
Baruch S. Blumberg (United States)
D. Carleton Gajdusek (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases”
Roger Guillemin (United States)
Andrew V. Schally (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning the peptide hormone production of the brain”
Rosalyn Yalow (United States)
“for the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones”
Werner Arber (Switzerland)
Daniel Nathans (United States)
Hamilton O. Smith (United States)
“for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics”
Allan M. Cormack (United States)
Sir Godfrey N. Hounsfield (United Kingdom)
“for the development of computer assisted tomography”
Baruj Benacerraf (Venezuela)
Jean Dausset
George D. Snell
(United States)
“for their discoveries concerning genetically determined structures on the cell surface that regulate immunological reactions”


Roger W. Sperry (United States)
“for his discoveries concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres”
David H. Hubel (United States)
Torsten N. Wiesel (Sweden)
“for their discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system”
Sune K. Bergström (Sweden)
Bengt I. Samuelsson (Sweden)
Sir John R. Vane (United Kingdom)
“for their discoveries concerning prostaglandins and related biologically active substances”
Barbara McClintock (United States)
“for her discovery of mobile genetic elements”
Niels K. Jerne (Denmark)
Georges J.F. Köhler (Germany)
César Milstein (United Kingdom, Argentina)
“for theories concerning the specificity in development and control of the immune system and the discovery of the principle for production of monoclonal antibodies”
Michael S. Brown (United States)
Joseph L. Goldstein (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism”
Stanley Cohen (United States)
Rita Levi-Montalcini (Italy, United States)
“for their discoveries of growth factors”
Susumu Tonegawa (Japan)
“for his discovery of the genetic principle for generation of antibody diversity”
Sir James W. Black (United Kingdom)
Gertrude B. Elion (United States)
George H. Hitchings (United States)
“for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment”
J. Michael Bishop (United States)
Harold E. Varmus
(United States)
“for their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes”
Joseph E. Murray (United States)
E. Donnall Thomas (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning organ and cell transplantation in the treatment of human disease”
Erwin Neher (Germany)
Bert Sakmann (Germany)
“for their discoveries concerning the function of single ion channels in cells”
Edmond H. Fischer (Switzerland, United States)
Edwin G. Krebs (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning reversible protein phosphorylation as a biological regulatory mechanism”
Sir Richard J. Roberts (United Kingdom)
Phillip A. Sharp (United States)
“for their discoveries of split genes”
Alfred G. Gilman (United States)
Martin Rodbell (United States)
“for their discovery of G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells”
Edward B. Lewis (United States)
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (Germany)
Eric F. Wieschaus (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development”
Peter C. Doherty (Australia)
Rolf M. Zinkernagel (Switzerland)
“for their discoveries concerning the specificity of the cell mediated immune defense”
Stanley B. Prusiner (United States)
“for his discovery of Prions – a new biological principle of infection”
Robert F. Furchgott (United States)
Louis J. Ignarro (United States)
Ferid Murad (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system”
Günter Blobel (United States)
“for the discovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell”
Arvid Carlsson (Sweden)
Paul Greengard (United States)
Eric R. Kandel (United States)
“for their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system”


Leland H. Hartwell (United States)
Sir Tim Hunt (United Kingdom)
Sir Paul M. Nurse (United Kingdom)
“for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle”
Sydney Brenner (United Kingdom)
H. Robert Horvitz (United States)
Sir John E. Sulston (United Kingdom)
“for their discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death”
Paul Lauterbur (United States)
Sir Peter Mansfield (United Kingdom)
“for their discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging”
Richard Axel (United States)
Linda B. Buck (United States)
“for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system”
Barry J. Marshall (Australia)
J. Robin Warren (Australia)
“for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease”
Andrew Z. Fire (United States)
Craig C. Mello (United States)
“for their discovery of RNA interference – gene silencing by double-stranded RNA”
Mario R. Capecchi (United States)
Sir Martin J. Evans (United Kingdom)
Oliver Smithies (United States)
“for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells”
Harald zur Hausen (Germany)
“for his discovery of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer”
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (France)
Luc Montagnier (France)
“for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus”
Elizabeth H. Blackburn (United States, Australia)
Carol W. Greider (United States)
Jack W. Szostak (United States, Poland)
“for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”
Sir Robert G. Edwards (United Kingdom)
“for the development of in vitro fertilization”
Ralph M. Steinman (Canada, United States)
“for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity”
Bruce A. Beutler (United States)
Jules A. Hoffmann (France)
“for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity”
Sir John B. Gurdon (United Kingdom)
Shinya Yamanaka (Japan)
“for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”
James E. Rothman (United States)
Randy W. Schekman (United States)
Thomas C. Südhof (United States, Germany)
“for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells”
May-Britt Moser (Norway)
Edvard Moser (Norway)
John O’Keefe (U.S./U.K.)
“for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”
William C. Campbell (Ireland)
Satoshi Omura (Japan)
“for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites”
Youyou Tu (China)
“for his discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria”

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