Edmond H. Fischer
Born: 6 April 1920, Shanghai, China
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning reversible protein phosphorylation as a biological regulatory mechanism."
Prize share: 1/2
The element phosphorus and phosphate groups, consisting of phosphorous and oxygen atoms, play an important role in several vital biochemical processes. In the mid-1950s Edmond Fischer and Edwin Krebs were able to describe how processes in which proteins emit and absorb phosphate groups can take place in both directions. They demonstrated how the process is governed by special enzymes - proteins that speed up the transformation of other proteins without being incorporated in the final products of the process. These processes are important in the regulation of metabolism in the body and other functions.