George E. Palade
Born: 19 November 1912, Iasi, Romania
Died: 7 October 2008, Del Mar, CA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Yale University, School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning the structural and functional organization of the cell."
Prize share: 1/3
Our bodies are made up of cells that contain organelles, components with various functions. Albert Claude's research with the newly developed electron microscope and his methods for separating the various parts of pulverized cells using a centrifuge opened up new opportunities for studying cells in detail. In 1955 George Palade discovered previously unknown organelles in the cell, ribosomes, where the cell's formation of proteins takes place. He also identified the paths proteins take through the cell.