The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2022

Through his pioneering research, Svante Pääbo accomplished something seemingly impossible: sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal, an extinct relative of present-day humans. He also made the sensational discovery of a previously unknown hominin, Denisova. Importantly, Pääbo also found that gene transfer had occurred from these now extinct hominins to Homo sapiens following the migration out of Africa around 70,000 years ago. This ancient flow of genes to present-day humans has physiological relevance today, for example affecting how our immune system reacts to infections.
Denisova, Neanderthal and H. sapiens

© The Nobel Committe for Physiology or Medicine. Ill. Mattias Karlén

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet has decided to award the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Svante Pääbo “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution”.
Svante Pääbo

Ill. Niklas Elmehed © Nobel Prize Outreach

2022 medicine prize

Svante Pääbo was interviewed just after he had heard news of the award of his Nobel Prize. Watch or read the interview.
Svante Pääbo

Svante Pääbo after receiving the call about being awarded the 2022 medicine prize on 3 October 2022.

Photo: Linda Vigilant

Did you know?

Quick facts

113 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine have been awarded between 1901 and 2022.

12 women have been awarded the medicine prize so far.

32 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.

87 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.

1 father and son duo Sune Bergström and Svante Pääbo have each been awarded a medicine prize. Svante Pääbo was awarded 40 years after his father.

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

Who did what?

Medicine prize Q&A

Learn more about how the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is decided and awarded in this interview with medicine prize awarder Juleen Zierath.
Juleen Zierath

Juleen Zierath, professor of physiology

© Nobel Prize Outreach. Photo: Andrew Hart

Next announcement

The Nobel Prize in Physics

Nobel Prize Conversations

What goes into the making of a Nobel Prize laureate? How big a role does luck play in the making of a laureate? Can you find any common experiences and external influences between the laureates? In this special bonus episode of Nobel Prize Conversations, we explore the origin stories of these remarkable individuals.
Benjamin List receiving his Nobel Prize diploma (1)

© Nobel Prize Outreach. Photo: Bernhard Ludewig

The Nobel Prize call

I think it's a shock

Surprised, overwhelmed, terrified, happy. How would you react if you suddenly heard that you had been awarded the Nobel Prize? Here, six laureates share their stories.

More about the ‘Nobel Prize call’

Nobel Prize facts

Youngest Nobel Prize laureate ever is Malala Yousafzai. She was 17 years old when she was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala Yousafzai

Explore prizes and laureates

News

Questions and answers

Do you have questions about the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Prize laureates? Find answers to the most commonly asked questions in the FAQ.
FAQ

Alfred Nobel – Established the Nobel Prizes

Chemist, engineer and industrialist Alfred Nobel left 31 million SEK (today about 342 million dollars) to fund the Nobel Prizes.

A bust of Alfred Nobel, surrounded by a beautiful wall of flowers

When Alfred was five years old his father Immanuel, an inventor and builder, moved to St. Petersburg. Alfred joined him a few years later.

Alfred Nobel 1853

Based on Alfred’s work and patents a whole new industry developed. Within ten years, 16 explosives producing factories had been founded in 14 countries.

Nobels Dynamite 10 Nov 1906

In his will of 27 November 1895, signed in Paris, Alfred Nobel specified that the bulk of his fortune should be used for prizes.

Alfred Nobel Will

Explore and learn

Watch the documentary series

A team of female Yazidi deminers in Iraq attempting to clear their land of mines left behind by ISIS. A team of scientists on an extraordinary mission in Mozambique to help better our understanding of climate change. A man building prosthetic legs to help victims of war walk again in South Sudan … All are inspired by Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
Into the fire - image

Nobel Prize nominations

In his last will and testament, Alfred Nobel specifically designated the institutions responsible for the prizes he wished to be established.

KVA byggnad fasad sommar

2022 Nobel Prize Concert

Play a game!

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1930
How much do you know about blood types? Did you know that human blood groups were discovered by Nobel Prize laureate Karl Landsteiner in 1901?

Learn more about the way to find out about the human blood groups, blood typing and the importance of safe blood transfusions. See if you can save the lives of the patients in the game!
Blood typing game
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1904
Is it possible to train a dog to drool on command? Learn about conditioned reflexes in this interactive game!

With this animated game, teachers are able to illustrate classical conditioning in the classroom. The object of the game is to train Pavlov’s dog to respond to a signal that it will associate with being fed.

In 1904, Ivan Pavlov was awarded with Nobel Prize for his pioneering studies of how the digestive system works.
Pavlov's Dog Game

New game

Step into the shoes of a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and learn about the legacy of Alfred Nobel in this immersive learning experience from the Nobel Peace Center. All Minecraft players can now journey alongside Desmond Tutu, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Jody Williams and Carl von Ossietzky to bring their vision of a more democratic, peaceful world to life.
Minecraft peacebuilders

What are you looking for? Search the website.

Nobel destinations

Stockholm, Sweden
The Nobel Prize Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, illustrates a century of creativity, where visitors can follow the changes of the 20th century through the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Prize laureates.
The Nobel Prize: Ideas Changing the World (3)

The museum showcases the discoveries and creativity of the Nobel Prize laureates.

Photo: Åke Eson Lindman

Oslo, Norway
Located in the heart of Oslo, Norway, the Nobel Peace Center is a place where you can experience and learn about the various Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
NPC Nye Nobels Hage 10

The story of each peace laureate is told at the museum.

Photo: Johannes Granseth/Nobel Peace Center

In memoriam

Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, died on 30 August. He was awarded the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize for the leading role he played in the radical changes in East-West relations and for bringing the Cold War to a halt.
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev

David Trimble passed away on 25 July. He was awarded the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize together with John Hume for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

David Trimble
Physics laureate Ben R. Mottelson passed away on 13 May, age 95. He was awarded the Nobel Prize “for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection”.
Ben Roy Mottelson