It's nice to know that even Nobel Prize winners are prone to the occasional humblebrag, superpower smarts and all. Shortly after winning the 2013 prize for medicine on Monday, UC Berkeley's Randy Schekman (who shared the award with Thomas Südhof of Stanford and James Rothman of Yale) took to Facebook to say, "The news from Stockholm caused me to lose sleep today."
Well done, Schekman.
Schekman, Südhof, and Rothman won the 2013 award for helping to combat neurological diseases, diabetes and immunological disorders. To simplify their complicated research, the trio "solved the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system."
Science Daily has more:
Randy Schekman discovered a set of genes that were required for vesicle traffic. James Rothman unravelled protein machinery that allows vesicles to fuse with their targets to permit transfer of cargo. Thomas Südhof revealed how signals instruct vesicles to release their cargo with precision.
Through their discoveries, Rothman, Schekman and Südhof have revealed the exquisitely precise control system for the transport and delivery of cellular cargo. Disturbances in this system have deleterious effects and contribute to conditions such as neurological diseases, diabetes, and immunological disorders.
Schekman, a professor of molecular and cell biology at Cal since 1976, revealed to The Chronicle his first reaction after hearing the big news, which was, "Oh my God!" He described the award as "almost as exciting as the discovery that we made."
Südhof, who heard the news while driving in Spain, exclaimed, "Are you serious? Oh my God." He later added, "I cannot tell you how much I enjoy what I do. I've always considered it an enormous privilege to be a scientist."
Today's announcement kicks of Nobel week. The Nobel Prize committee's big awards, insofar as overall public interest goes, are the Peace and Literature prizes. Both categories can create mild controversy, like when President Barack Obama won in 2009 simply for not being George W. Bush or when Pearl S. Buck inexplicably nabbed the prize in 1938.