Tag Archives: physiology or medicine

Nobel Prize Countdown!!!

The recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine will be announced TOMORROW —- it is also the first Nobel Prize to be unmasked this year! This is definitely the zenith in life science research in a year: elation and excitement are all around, plus fervid speculation on who is the lucky one.

While everyone has their favorite researchers and researches, they are my top three:

1. Gene editing: CRISPR-Cas9

Probably you never heard about the term CRISPR-Cas9, but you should be able recognize these news:


Yes, CRISPR is the driver behind these amazing things! CRISPR-Cas9 technology enables gene editing in a simple and reliable way, hence it has stormed both research molecular and medicine, at an unprecedented rate.

2. Immunotherapy: CAR T cells

“The living drug”, this is how Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell is called.

In short, the technology empower our body’s own immune cells to fight against cancer, by engineering and coating the surface of T cell so that it binds and kills a cancer cell specifically. You can imagine that cancer treatment will be no longer a torture: not only because the CAR T cells target cancer cells, but also it will not hurt the body as it is an intact part for it. What makes it more promising is that it is approved this year as a treatment to leukemia.

3. Structural Biology: cyro-EM

(But maybe it should be enlisted in Nobel Prize in Chemistry?)

In biology and its extended field, structure is the fundamental of everything: without knowing the structure, how can you study the function and interaction of a biomolecule? Indeed, it can take ten years to determine the structure of a complex protein using traditional technique called X-ray crystallography.

I have an example here: it takes 10+ years until Peter Agre and Roderick McKinnon elucidated the structure of Aquaporin, then they won a Nobel Prize for this discovery (Well, 10 years for Nobel Prize, is not bad). The emergence of cryo-EM speeds up this process, it is undoubtedly a giant leap in science!

But as we are in Sweden, the hometown of Nobel Prize, there is a lot more things to be involved in than the above speculation and anticipation. The announcement of Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine heralds the opening of the Nobel Season, which won’t fade until the end of this year! I am also sharing my ever-expanding list below (as I am still eagerly waiting for updates at nobelprize.org:

1. Nobel Prize Announcement 

11.30 AM, 2 Oct

Nobel Assembly,  Karolinska Institutet, Wallenbergsalen, Nobel Forum, Nobels väg 1, Solna, Stockholm


2. Nobel Week Dialogue: The Future of Truth

9 December 2017, Gothenburg

Online registration opened 18 Oct 2017

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In the Nobel week: lecture by Dr. Ohsumi (2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine)

In Stockholm, there are three festivals to celebrate in December: Christmas, Lucia, and Nobel week!

Nobel week 

While the Nobel banquet and Nobel Prize award ceremony seem distant, the Nobel lecture series is something that you cannot miss! It is delivered by the Nobel Prize laureates of the year, and conducted in English. Furthermore, it requires no registration, no identity check nor admission fee: all members of the general public are welcome! (for the full program list, click here)

There are two Nobel lectures:

1. Wednesday 7 December: Lecture in Physiology or Medicine

Aula Medica Karolinska Institutet, Nobels väg 6, 2.30 p.m.

2. Thursday 8 December: Lectures in Physics, Chemistry and in Economic Sciences 

Aula Magna, Stockholm University, 9.00 a.m.

As my study programme is Molecular Techniques in Life Science, without a doubt, my choice is the lecture given by Dr. Ohsumi, the Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine. Because the lecture started at 14:30, I managed to arrive at 12:00 PM — there was already a long queue!

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