The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2002



The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2002  The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2002 “for the development of methods for identification and structure analyses of biological macromolecules” with one half jointly to John B. Fenn and Koichi Tanaka “for their development of soft desorption ionisation methods for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules” and the other half to Kurt Wüthrich “for his development of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for determining the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules in solution”.


Living cells consist of myriads of molecules. The large molecules, which include the proteins, interact with one another and with other molecules in a never-resting molecular machinery. How can we understand what is happening inside the cell? One important step is to develop tools to “see” with, and this is what this year’s Nobel Laureates in Chemistry have done.


John B. Fenn

Koichi Tanaka

Kurt Wüthrich

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