Svante Pääbo

Facts

Svante Pääbo

Ill. Niklas Elmehed © Nobel Prize Outreach

Svante Pääbo
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2022

Born: 20 April 1955, Stockholm, Sweden

Affiliation at the time of the award: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany; Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Okinawa, Japan

Prize motivation: “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution”

Prize share: 1/1

Work

Where do we humans come from, and how are we related to extinct hominins? In 2010, Svante Pääbo succeeded in sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal. He also discovered a previously unknown hominin, Denisova. He also found that gene transfer had occurred from these now extinct hominins to Homo sapiens following the migration out of Africa around 70,000 years ago. This ancient flow of genes to present-day humans has physiological relevance today, for example affecting how our immune system reacts to infections.

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