Medicine Laureate
Collage of Medicine Laureates

Yoshinori Ohsumi. Illustration by Niklas Elmehed. Copyright Nobel Media 2016. Yoshinori Ohsumi. Ill. Niklas Elmehed. © Nobel Media 2016.

2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016 was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi "for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy".

More about the 2016 Medicine Prize
The Nobel Medal for Physiology or Medicine. Registered trademark of the Nobel Foundation. © ® The Nobel Foundation

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Awarded to 211 Nobel Laureates since 1901

"The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- - -/ one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine ..."

(Excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel)

Alfred Nobel had an active interest in medical research. Through Karolinska Institutet, he came into contact with Swedish physiologist Jöns Johansson around 1890. Johansson worked in Nobel's laboratory in Sevran, France during a brief period the same year. Physiology or medicine was the third prize area Nobel mentioned in his will.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Nerve cell

The Medicine Prize 1901-2000

In his will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that one part of his fortune should be awarded "the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine".

More about the history of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Did You Know?


Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine have been awarded between 1901 and 2016.


Medicine Prizes have been given to one Laureate only.


women have been awarded the Medicine Prize so far.


years was the age of the youngest Medicine Laureate ever, Frederick G. Banting, who was awarded the 1923 Medicine Prize for the discovery of insulin.


years was the age of the oldest Medicine Laureate ever, Peyton Rous, when he was awarded the Medicine Prize in 1966 for his discovery of tumour-inducing viruses.


is the average age of the Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine the year they were awarded the prize.

All facts and figures about the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Göran K. Hansso Göran K. Hansson

Which research area has been awarded most often? Why?

Göran K. Hansson, former Secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, answers frequently asked questions about the Medicine Prize

15 questions about the Medicine Prize

2015 Medicine Prize

2015 Medicine Laureates

They Transformed the Treatment of Parasitic Diseases

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 was awarded with one half jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura and the other half to Youyou Tu.

Read more
William C. Campbell. Photo: A. Mahmoud.

"It is time for parasites to get a little more respect!"

Watch or read William C. Campbell's speech at the Nobel Banquet in the Stockholm City Hall on 10 December 2015.

William C. Campbell's banquet speech
Satoshi Ōmura. Photo: A. Mahmoud.

"It remains the most potent anti-infective agent in clinical use"

In his Nobel Lecture, Satoshi Ōmura talked about the origins and impact of Avermectin.

Read och watch the lecture
Youyou Tu. Photo: A. Mahmoud.

"Treatment of malaria relies on chemotherapy"

Youyou Tu described the long search for antimalarial drugs from traditional Chinese medicine in her Nobel Lecture.

Youyou Tu's Nobel Lecture

2014 Medicine Prize

John O'Keefe

"The cognitive map is how we know where we are"

John O'Keefe describes his Nobel Prize awarded work in easy-to-understand terms.

Watch the interview clip

May-Britt Moser

"In love with science"

In this conversation May-Britt Moser talks about the pure joy of exploring the connection between behaviour and the brain.

Edvard I. Moser lecturing

"Even on work that hasn't even been done"

In his Nobel Lecture, Edvard I. Moser described his research, and revealed news from his work today.

Watch the lecture

Learn How to Blood Type!

The Blood Typing Game

Play and Learn about the Human Blood Types

A blood transfusion involves taking blood from one person (a donor) and giving it to another to replace blood lost in major accidents, or during life-saving operations, for instance. Check out if you can perform a safe blood transfusion yourself!

Play the Blood Typing Game
Karl Landsteiner

The ABO Blood Groups

Human blood groups were discovered in 1901 by Karl Landsteiner, later awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

More on Karl Landsteiner
Blood donator

Did You Know?

Two most common reasons why people don't give blood are:

"Never thought about it."


"I don't like needles."