Nobel Prize - Neuroscience
Year of Award Name(s) Birth and Death Dates Nationality/Citizenship Field of Study
1906 Golgi, Camillo 7/7/1843 to 1/21/1926 Italian Structure of the Nervous System
Ramon y Cajal, Santiago 5/1/1852 to 10/18/1934 Spanish Structure of the Nervous System
1911 Gullstrand, Allvar 6/5/1862 to 7/28/1930 Swedish Optics of the Eye
1914 Barany, Robert 5/22/1876 to 4/8/1936 Austrian Physiology and pathology of the vestibular apparatus
1927 Wagner-Jauregg, Julius 3/7/1857 to 9/27/1940 Austrian Discovery of Malaria inoculation to treat dementia paralytica
1932 Adrian, Edgar Douglas 11/30/1889 to 8/4/1977 British Function of neurons in sending messages
Sherrington, Sir Charles Scott 11/27/1857 to 3/4/1952 British Function of neurons in the brain and spinal cord
1936 Dale, Sir Henry Hallett 6/9/1875 to 7/23/1968 British Chemical transmission of nerve impulses
Loewi, Otto 6/3/1873 to 12/25/1961 German, American Citizen Chemical transmission of nerve impulses
1944 Erlanger, Joseph 1/5/1874 to 12/15/1965 American Differentiated functions of single nerve fibers
Gasser, Herbert Spencer 7/5/1888 to 5/11/1963 American Differentiated functions of single nerve fibers
1949 Egas Moniz, Antonio Caetano Abreu Freire 11/29/1874 to 12/13/1955 Portuguese Leucotomy for certain psychoses
Hess, Walter Rudolph 3/17/1881 to 8/12/1973 Swiss The "interbrain" (hypothalamus) used to control activity of internal organs
1957 Bovet, Daniel 3/23/1907 to 4/9/1992 Italian Work on synthetic substances that inhibit action of body substances.
1961 Von Bekesy, Georg 6/3/1899 to 6/13/1972 Hungarian, American Citizen Function of the cochlea
1963 Eccles, Sir John Carew 1/27/1903 to 5/2/1997 Australian Ionic mechanisms of nerve cell membrane
Hodgkin, Sir Alan Lloyd 2/5/1914 to 12/20/1998 British Ionic mechanisms of nerve cell membrane
Huxley, Sir Andrew Fielding 12/22/1917 to 5/30/2012 British Ionic mechanisms of nerve cell membrane
1967 Granit, Ragnar Arthur 10/30/1900 to 3/12/1991 Finnish, Swedish citizen Mechanisms of Vision - Wavelength discrimination of the eye
Hartline, Halden Keffer 12/22/1903 to 3/17/1983 American Mechanisms of Vision
Wald, George 11/18/1906 to 04/12/1997 American Mechanisms of Vision - chemical processes
1970 Axelrod, Julius 5/30/1912 to 12/29/2004 American Humoral transmitters in sympathetic nerves
Katz, Sir Bernard 3/26/1911 to 4/20/2003 German, British Citizen Release of neurotransmitters from nerve terminals
von Euler, Ulf Svante 2/7/1905 to 3/10/1983 Swedish Humoral transmitters in sympathetic nerves
1973 Lorenz, Konrad Zacharias 11/7/1903 to 2/27/1989 Austrian Ethology
Tinbergen, Nikolaas 4/15/1907 to 12/21/1988 Dutch Ethology
von Frisch, Karl 11/20/1886 to 6/12/1982 Austrian Ethology
1976 Blumberg, Baruch S. 7/28/1925 to 4/5/2011 American Mechanisms for origin and dissemination of infection disease
Gajdusek, Daniel Carleton 9/9/1923 to 12/12/2008 American Mechanisms for origin and dissemination of infection disease
1977 Guillemin, Roger 1/11/1924 to French, American Citizen Production of peptides in the brain
Schally, Andrew Victor 11/30/1926 to Polish, Canadian/American Citizen Production of peptides in the brain
1979 Cormack, Allan MacLeod 2/23/1924 to 5/7/1998 South African, American Citizen Invention of computer-assisted tomography
Hounsfield, Sir Godfrey Newbold 8/28/1919 to 8/12/2004 British Invention of computer-assisted tomography
1981 Hubel, David Hunter 2/27/1926 to 9/22/2013 Canadian, American Citizen Information processing in the visual system
Sperry, Roger Wolcott 8/20/1913 to 4/17/1994 American Functions of the right and left hemispheres of the brain
Wiesel, Torsten N. 6/3/1924 to Swedish, American Citizen Information processing in the visual system
1982 Samuelsson, Bengt Ingemar 5/21/1934 to Swedish Discovery of prostaglandins
Vane, John Robert 3/29/1927 to 11/19/2004 British Discovery of prostaglandins
Bergstrom, Sune K. 1/10/1916 to 8/15/2004 Swedish Discovery of prostaglandins
1986 Cohen, Stanley 12/17/1922 to American Control of nerve cell growth
Levi-Montalcini, Rita 4/22/1909 to 12/30/2012 Italian, American Citizen Control of nerve cell growth
1991 Neher, Erwin 3/20/1944 to German Function of single ion channels in cells
Sakmann, Bert 6/12/1942 to German Function of single ion channels in cells
1994 Gilman, Alfred G. 7/1/1941 to American Discovery of G-protein coupled receptors and their role in signal transduction
Rodbell, Martin 12/1/1925 to 12/7/1998 American Discovery of G-protein coupled receptors and their role in signal transduction
1997 Prusiner, Stanley B. 5/28/1942 to American Discovery of prions; a new biological principle of infection
2000 Carlsson, Arvid 1/25/1923 to Swedish Signal transduction in the nervous system/dopamine
Greengard, Paul 12/11/1925 to American Signal transduction in the nervous system
Kandel, Eric R. 11/7/1929 to American Signal transduction in the nervous system/learning
2003 Lauterbur, Paul C. 5/6/1929 to 3/27/2007 American Discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging
Mansfield, Sir Peter 10/9/1933 to British Discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging
2003 MacKinnon, Roderick 2/16/1956 to American Structural and mechanistic studies of ion channels
2004 Buck, Linda B. 1/29/1947 to American Discovery of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system
Axel, Richard 7/2/1946 to American Discovery of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system
2013 Rothman, James E. 11/3/1950 to American Discovery of the machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells
Schekman, Randy W. 12/30/1946 to American Discovery of the machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells
Sudhof, Thomas C. 12/22/1955 to German-American Discovery of the machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells
2014 O'Keefe, John 11/18/1939 to American, British Discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain
Moser, Edvard I. 4/27/1962 to Norwegian Discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain
Moser, May-Britt 1/41963 to Norwegian Discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain

Nobel Trivia
  • When Santiago Ramon y Cajal was 11-years-old, he destroyed a neighbor's gate with a homemade cannon and spent three days in jail. 3
  • Santiago Ramon y Cajal joined the army as a doctor in 1873 and he was sent to Cuba where he contracted malaria and dysentery. He recovered when he returned to Spain.6
  • Santiago Ramon y Cajal failed twice before becoming a professor of descriptive anatomy in 1883.6
  • In 1898, Camillo Golgi reported that he discovered a ribbon-like apparatus inside neurons of the cerebellum. This structure now bears his name as the "Golgi apparatus."
  • As a soldier in the Polish army during World War II, Robert Barany was taken prisoner in 1915 and sent to Central Asia.1
  • Robert Barany suffered a stroke that left him nearly paralyzed.6
  • Julius Wagner-Jauregg received a diploma of Doctor of Law.2
  • Antonio Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz was shot in the leg by a patient. He spent the rest of his life in a wheel chair.
  • Edgar D. Adrian was a descendent of Scottish philosopher David Hume.1
  • The word synapse was first used in a book called A Textbook of Physiology, part three: The Central Nervous System, by Michael Foster and assisted by Charles S. Sherrington, in 1897. It was probably Charles S. Sherrington who coined the term synapse. The word "synapse" comes from Greek: "syn" meaning "together" and "haptein" meaning "to clasp."
  • The oldest daughter of Henry Dale married Alexander Todd. Todd was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1957.1
  • The idea for an experiment to demonstrate chemical neurotransmission came to Otto Loewi in a dream.
  • Joseph Erlanger's parents immigrated from Germany to the US during the gold rush.1
  • Spencer Gasser was a student of Joseph Erlanger.1
  • Daniel Bovet spent time in South America to learn how curare was used.1
  • Georg von Bekesy worked in the research laboratory of the Hungarian Post Office.2
  • John Eccles was knighted in 1958.1
  • Alan Hodgkin married the daughter of Peyton Rous. Peyton Rous won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1966.1
  • Andrew F. Huxley was knighted in 1974.1
  • Ragnar Granit studied with Charles Sherrington.1
  • Haldan Hartline used horseshoe crabs in his early experiments about the visual system.
  • Julius Axelrod helped develop the pain reliever called acetaminophen (Tylenol).1
  • Bernard Katz served as a radar operator in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II.1
  • As a student, Alfred Gilman was a member of the Yale University Concert Band.4
  • Martin Rodbell contracted malaria in the Philippines while serving in the Navy during World War II.4
  • Nikolaas Tinbergen was sent to a concentration camp during World War II.1
  • Andrew V. Schally has over 2200 publications; more than 1200 were published after he received the Nobel Prize.2
  • Allan McLeod Cormack never received an MD or PhD.
  • Godfrey N. Hounsfield served as a radar expert for the Royal Air Force during World War II.1
  • Although David H. Hubel had never taken a biology class in high school or college, he was accepted into medical school at McGill University.2
  • Torsten N. Wiesel was president of his high school's athletic association.2
  • As a child, Bert Sakmann designed and built model motors, sailing ships and remote controlled airplanes.4
  • Eric R. Kandel played soccer and was co-captain of the track team at Erasmus Hall High School.2
  • As an undergraduate at the University of Washington, Linda Buck wanted to become a psychotherapist.2
  • Richard Axel delivered false teeth to dentists at the age of eleven, laid carpets at twelve and served sandwiches in a delicatessen at thirteen.2
  • In 1938, Otto Loewi was jailed by the Nazis in Austria. Only when he transferred his Nobel Prize money to a Nazi-controlled bank was he allowed to leave Austria.5
References:

1 Leroy, F., A Century of Nobel Prize Recipients. Chemistry, Physics and Medicine, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc., 2003.

2 Nobel Foundation web site

3 Rapport, R., Nerve Endings. The Discovery of the Synapse, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2005.

4 Ringertz, N., Nobel Lectures in Physiology or Medicine (1991-1995), Singapore: World Scientific, 1997.

5Meyers, M.A., Happy Accidents. Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs, New York: Arcade Publishing, 2007.

6Worek, M., Nobel. A Century of Prize Winners, 2nd Edition, Buffalo (NY): Firefly Books, Ltd., 2010.

Information about the 2004 Nobel Prize:

Additional information about Nobel Prize winners:

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