Sune K. Bergström
Born: 10 January 1916, Stockholm, Sweden
Died: 15 August 2004, Stockholm, Sweden
Affiliation at the time of the award: Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning prostaglandins and related biologically active substances"
Field: biochemistry, chemistry
Prize share: 1/3
Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that control several important processes in the body. They are also active when the body is attacked. In the 1950s Sune Bergström succeeded in producing pure prostaglandins and in determining the chemical structures of two important examples, PGE and PGF. He also showed that these are formed through the conversion of unsaturated fatty acids. Prostaglandins are used as medicines; for example, to trigger contractions during childbirth, induce abortions, or reduce the risk of gastric ulcers during treatment using other pharmaceuticals.
"for his discoveries relating to synthetic compounds that inhibit the action of certain body substances, and especially their action on the vascular system and the skeletal muscles"
"for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment"
"for his discoveries in connection with the biological combustion processes, with special reference to vitamin C and the catalysis of fumaric acid"