Nobel Prize

The NIH Intramural Research Program has nurtured many Nobel Prize winners who either did the entirety of their award-winning research here (*) or trained or worked extensively in one of our laboratories:

  • Harvey J. Alter* (2020), with Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice. For the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.
  • Tasuku Honjo (2018), with James P. Allison. For their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.
  • Eric Betzig (2014), with Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner. For their development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.
  • Michael Levitt (2013), with Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel. For their development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.
  • Robert Lefkowitz (2012), with Brian Kobilka. For their studies of G-protein-coupled receptors.
  • Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (2008), with Luc Montagnier. For their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  • Richard Axel (2004), with Linda B. Buck. For their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system.
  • Arvid Carlsson, Paul Greengard and Eric R. Kandel (2000). For their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system.
  • Ferid Murad and Louis J. Ignarro (1998), with Robert F. Furchgott. For their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system.
  • Stanley Prusiner (1997). For his discovery of prions—a new biological principle of infection.
  • Alfred Gilman and Martin Rodbell* (1994). For their discovery of G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells.
  • J. Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus (1989). For their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes.
  • Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein (1985). For their discoveries concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism.
  • Baruj Benacerraf (1980), with Jean Dausset and George D. Snell. For their discoveries concerning genetically determined structures on the cell surface that regulate immunological reactions.
  • Baruch S. Blumberg and D. Carleton Gajdusek* (1976). For their discoveries concerning new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases.
  • Christian B. Anfinsen* (1972). For his work on ribonuclease, especially concerning the connection between the amino acid sequence and the biologically active conformation.
  • Julius Axelrod* (1970), with Sir Bernard Katz and Ulf von Euler. For their discoveries concerning the humoral transmitters in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation.
  • Marshall W. Nirenberg* (1968), with Robert W. Holley and Har Gobind Khorana. For their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis. Click to view a video interview with Dr. Nirenberg.
  • Arthur Kornberg (1959), with Severo Ochoa. For their discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid.

* The asterisk indicates that these Nobel Laureates did the entirety of their award-winning research at the NIH as federal scientists. There are six such laureates: Marshall Nirenberg, Julius Axelrod, Christian Anfinsen, D. Carleton Gajdsek, Martin Rodbell, and Harvey Alter.

This page was last updated on Monday, January 10, 2022