American professors win Nobel Prize in medicine

Two American Jews, together with a non-Jewish German scientist, have won the Nobel Prize in medicine, pipping two Israelis to the post.

James Rothman and Randy Schekman, together with German researcher Thomas Suedhof, were awarded the accolade for their work on how proteins and other materials are transported within cells.

The Israelis, Hebrew University professors Aharon Razin and Howard Cedar, were very close contenders.

Mr Rothman is a professor at Yale University and Mr Schekman teaches at the University of California.

The Nobel committee said their research on “vesicle traffic” helped scientists understand how “cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time.”

Disturbances in the transport system of cells have “deleterious effects and contribute to conditions such as neurological diseases, diabetes and immunological disorders,” said the committee.

Mr Schekman said he planned to celebrate the award with his lab manager and students. “I called my lab manager and I told him to go buy a couple bottles of Champagne and expect to have a celebration with my lab.”

The trio have been working on the cell transportation research “over years, if not decades”, Mr Rothman told Associated Press.

More awards in physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics will be announced this week and next.

Last updated: 2:17pm, October 7 2013