Randy W. Schekman
Born: 30 December 1948, St. Paul, MN, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells"
Field: cell physiology, genetics
Prize share: 1/3
The cells inside our bodies produce a host of different molecules that are sent to specific sites. During transport, many of these molecules are grouped together in tiny sac-like structures called vesicles. These vesicles help transport substances to different places inside the cell and send molecules from the cell's surface as signals to other cells in the body.
During the 1970s, Randy Schekman studied yeast cells with malfunctions in this transportation system. He demonstrated that the malfunctions were due to genetic defects and explained how different genes regulate different aspects of the transports.
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