Werner Arber


Werner Arber

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Werner Arber
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1978

Born: 3 June 1929, Gränichen, Switzerland

Affiliation at the time of the award: Biozentrum der Universität, Basel, Switzerland

Prize motivation: "for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics."

Prize share: 1/3


An organism's genome is stored in the form of long rows of building blocks, known as nucleotides, which form DNA molecules. In the late 1960s, Werner Arber discovered substances known as restriction enzymes, which cut DNA molecules at sites where a certain sequence of nucleotides occurs. The discovery of restriction enzymes opened the way to explaining in which order genes exist on the chromosome, to investigating genes' chemical composition, and to putting DNA together in new combinations.

To cite this section
MLA style: Werner Arber – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2019. Sun. 17 Feb 2019. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/1978/arber/facts/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.