STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Two American scientists won the 2012 Nobel Prize for chemistry on Wednesday for research into how cells respond to external stimuli that is helping to develop better drugs to fight diseases such as diabetes, cancer and depression.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the 8 million crown ($1.2 million) prize went to Robert Lefkowitz, 69, and Brian Kobilka, 57, for discovering the inner workings of G-protein-coupled receptors, which allow cells to respond to chemical messages such as adrenaline rushes.
"Around half of all medications act through these receptors, among them beta blockers, antihistamines and various kinds of psychiatric medications," the committee said.
Working out better ways to target the receptors, known as GPCRs, is an area of keen focus for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Lefkowitz told a news conference by telephone he was asleep when the phone call came from Sweden. [MORE]
Via Michael Charney