Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1982
Sune K. Bergström, Bengt I. Samuelsson, John R. Vane

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Sune K. Bergström - Facts

Sune K. Bergström

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.

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