Randy W. Schekman
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2013
Born: 30 December 1948, St. Paul, MN, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA
Prize motivation: “for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells”
Prize share: 1/3
Randy Schekman was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the United States. After studying at the University of California in Los Angeles and spending time at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, he received his Ph.D. in 1975 from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, San Diego (1974-76) and from 1976 he has remained a faculty member at the University of California in Berkeley. Randy Schekman is married with two children.
The cells inside our bodies produce a host of different molecules that are sent to specific sites. During transport, many of these molecules are grouped together in tiny sac-like structures called vesicles. These vesicles help transport substances to different places inside the cell and send molecules from the cell’s surface as signals to other cells in the body. During the 1970s, Randy Schekman studied yeast cells with malfunctions in this transportation system. He demonstrated that that the malfunctions were due to genetic defects and explained how different genes regulate different aspects of the transports.
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