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Press Release: ASPET Congratulates 2012 Nobel Prize Winners Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., and Brian K. Kobilka, M.D.

Robert Lefkowitz  Brian Kobilka 

Robert Lefkowitz 

Brian Kobilka 

ASPET members Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka have won the 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the two researchers for their groundbreaking discoveries on an important family of receptors, known as G-protein-coupled receptors. Because so many medications act on these receptors, this research will help scientists to develop better drugs.

Dr. Kobilka, Professor of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University School of Medicine was also recipient of the 2010 ASPET-Julius Axelrod Award in Pharmacology. The Axelrod Award is given to recognize outstanding scientific contributions in research and mentoring. Dr. Kobilka has been a member of ASPET since 2005.

Dr. Lefkowitz, a member of ASPET since 1977, is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at the Duke University Medical Center. He was recipient of the ASPET 2012 Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Award in Pharmacology honoring the scientific achievements of scientists who are at the height of their careers and who have made significant contributions to any area of pharmacology. Dr. Lefkowitz was also recipient of the ASPET 1986 Goodman & Gilman Award by GlaxoSmithKline to recognize and stimulate outstanding research in pharmacology of biological receptors.  

As young investigators, both Drs. Lefkowitz and Kobilka were honored with the ASPET John Jacob Abel Award, in 1978 and 1994, respectively. The John Jacob Abel Award is given to a single young investigator for original, outstanding research contributions in the field of pharmacology.

Both Nobel Prize winners will be speaking at the 2013 ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology in Boston. Dr. Lefkowitz will receive the honor as speaker at the Sir James Black Lecture at the Boston Convention Center on Wednesday, April 24. This lecture and session, which Dr. Kobilka will also speak, are part of a colloquium on G-Protein Coupled Receptors which continues Wednesday evening and Thursday.

The Nobel Prizes were established by the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. Each award is worth 8 million kronor, or about $1.2 million.

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