The changes in the field of medicine in the next ten years is going to be nothing less than a revolution. Examples proving this statement are gene editing, gene therapy, epigenetics and much more. Medical science is surely going to be more dependent on technology than it is today, robotic surgeries are going to defeat the setbacks we have ever faced. More global, more mobile and more exciting is what the future of medicine looks.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded yearly for outstanding discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine. Till date 216 Nobel Laureates have won this prestigious award since the time it was initiated in 1901.

The first ever Nobel prize in the field of Medicine was awarded to Emil Adolf von Behring for his work on serum therapy, especially its application against Diphtheria. This opened a new road in the domain of medical sciences and thereby placed in the hands of the physician a victorious weapon against illness and deaths.

Here is a table of the wonderful discoveries in the past decade for which the prestigious award has been bestowed.


Year Nobel Laureates in Medicine. Discoveries made by them.
2009 Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol Greider& Jack Szostak How chromosomes are protected by telomeres and enzyme telomerase.
2010 Robert G. Edwards Development of In vitro fertilisation.
2011 Bruce A. Beutler and Jules Hoffmann


Ralph Steinman

Activation of innate immunity.


Dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.

2012 Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka Mature cells can be re programmed to become pluripotent.
2013 James Rothman, Randy Schekman and Thomas Sudhof Machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.


2014 John Keefe,May Britt Moser and Edvard Moser Cells constituting a positioning system in the brain.
2015 William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura





Novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites.


Novel therapies against Malaria.

2016 Yoshinori Ohsumi Mechanisms for autophagy.
2017 Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young Molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.
2018 James P Allison and TasukuHonjo Cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.


Process of Nomination and selection of the Nobel Laureates in the field of Medicine-

The Nobel Committee sends confidential invitation letters to people who are competent and qualified to nominate candidates for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Selection of Nobel Laureates

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute is responsible for selection of the Nobel Laureates in the field of Medicine.

Who is eligible for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine?

Candidates eligible are those nominated by nominators who have received an invitation from the Nobel Committee to submit names for consideration. No one can nominate themselves.

How are the Nobel Laureates selected ?

The Noble Prize for Physiology or Medicine is awarded for discovery of major importance in life science or medicine. Discoveries that have changed the scientific paradigm and are of great benefit for mankind are awarded  the prize, whereas life time achievements or scientific leadership cannot be considered for the Nobel Prize.

Some quick facts about the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology –

  1. Medicine prizes – 109


  1. Medicine Laureates – 216

3.Awarded women – 12


  1. Youngest Laureate – 32 years old.

5.Oldest Laureate – 87 years old.

In  a TED talk given by Dr. Michael Brown at the TEDxUTA after winning the Nobel Prizealong with Dr. Joseph Goldsteinfor discovering the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDL), he listed down these golden points on how can one win a Nobel Prize in Medicine–

  1. Be curious.
  2. Train with a Nobel Prize winner (or the equivalent).
  3. Find a partner to share the adventure.
  4. Find a problem that fascinates you.
  5. Find a strong financial support for your work.
  6. Work very hard and get totally consumed by it.
  7. Solve the problem that fascinated you.
  8. Luck plays an important role too.

References –

  1. TEDxTalks
  2. Wikipedia
  3. nobelprize.org





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