The 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to Americans Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka for their study of smart receptors on cell surfaces.
Lefkowitz and Kobilka were recognized “for their groundbreaking discoveries that reveal the inner workings of an important family of such receptors: G-protein-coupled receptors.”
Their work helps explain how cells sense and respond to the changing environment around them, and in particular the role cell surfaces play in this process, the Nobel Prize Committee said. Similarities with receptors in the eye helped Lefkowitz and Kobilka reveal the wide range of stimuli that these receptors engage with, from flavor and odor to dopamine and serotonin.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2012 was awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.