The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2003
Born: 30 January 1949, Northfield, MN, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
Prize motivation: “for the discovery of water channels”
Prize share: 1/2
One of the fundamental processes of life is the transportation of water molecules through the surface layer of the cells that comprise organisms. Channels that allow the passage of water but not other substances are crucial for processes such as the kidney’s capacity to recover water from urine. For a long time no one knew what these water canals looked like, but in 1990 Peter Agre succeeded in isolating a protein that he proved was the sought-after water canal. The protein was given the name aquaporin.
Their work and discoveries range from the Earth’s climate and our sense of touch to efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.
See them all presented here.