Nobel Prize in Medicine
Alfred Nobel always showed an active interest in medical research, so the prize in medicine and physiology was the third in a row mentioned in his will.
The medical prize has been awarded by the Nobel Assembly of the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden) since 1901.
For 112 years, this prize was awarded 104 times. Its laureates are currently 204 people – scientists working in the field of medicine and medical technology.
38 people received the prize individually, 32 prizes were divided between partners and 34 were awarded for work in a group of three people. For discoveries made by groups of scientists consisting of more than three people, the Nobel Prize is not awarded.
Only 10 female scientists were able to receive the Nobel Prize in medicine.
It is estimated that the average age of Nobel Medical Prize winners is 58 years. The youngest scientist to receive this award was Frederick Grant Bunting, who received it at the age of 32 for discovering insulin (together with laboratory director John MacLeod in 1923). The oldest laureate was Peyton Rose – his age at the time of receiving the prize was 87 years old (1966 prize for the discovery of viruses that induce tumors).
The Charter of the Nobel Foundation since 1974 provides that the prize cannot be awarded posthumously. However, in the case of a medical award, they once made an exception. In 2011, Nobel laureate Ralph Steinman died three days before the official announcement of the results. The prize was left for him, since it was still awarded in vivo.
In 1947, a Nobel Prize in medicine was shared by a married couple: Karl Ferdinand Corey and Gerti Theresa Corey for their work with glycogen. For a total of 34 years, the family of scientists jointly engaged in biomedicine.
In the history of the Nobel Prizes, there is also the award of father and son, both times, one of a couple of family winners was a physician, another chemist.
The Nobel Prize nomination data has been kept secret for 50 years. Therefore, now in the archives you can find out the stories of nominees of the first half of the 20th century. Many of them are quite interesting. For example, Bunting with Macleod received a prize for the invention of insulin from the first nomination, and Robert Koch for his work with tuberculosis received a prize after only four years and 55 nominations. And the Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, although he was nominated for the prize 32 times, he never received it.
The Nobel medal in physiology and medicine was developed by Swedish sculptor and engraver Eric Lindberg. It depicts a medical genius with a book on his lap, which collects water from a rock to quench the thirst of a sick girl. The inscription “Inventas Vitam Juvat excoluisse for Artes” is taken from the Aeneid verse, in a free translation reads: “Those who improved life on earth with newfound mastery.” The name of the laureate is engraved under the picture.
The annual awarding of the Nobel Prize is timed to December 10, the date of the anniversary of the death of the testator Alfred Nobel.
The award ceremony in medicine and physiology takes place in the Stockholm Concert Hall. At the award ceremony, His Majesty the King of Sweden personally congratulates the laureates and presents them with medals and diplomas.
The amount of the Nobel Prize varies over the years depending on the condition of the Fund, recently it has been 1.2 million US dollars.