Nobel Prize 2022: Svante Pääbo bags award in medicine for 'discoveries concerning human evolution'
Svante Pääbo has been given the award “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution," the Nobel Prize committee said. The prize, arguably among the most prestigious in the scientific world, is awarded by the Nobel Assembly of Sweden's Karolinska Institute and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($900,357).
Svante Pääbo was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 2022 on Monday. The Nobel Prize committee stated that Svante Pääbo received the prize “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution," The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is given by the Nobel Assembly of Sweden's Karolinska Institute and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($900,357).
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed medical research centre stage with many expecting that the development of the vaccines that have allowed the world to regain some sense of normality may eventually be rewarded.
Through his pioneering research, Svante Pääbo – this year’s Nobel Prize laureate in physiology or medicine – accomplished something seemingly impossible: sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal, an extinct relative of present-day humans, the academy said in its press release.
“Thanks to Svante Pääbo’s discoveries, we now understand that archaic gene sequences from our extinct relatives influence the physiology of present-day humans. One such example is the Denisovan version of the gene EPAS1, which confers an advantage for survival at high altitude and is common among present-day Tibetans. Other examples are Neanderthal genes that affect our immune response to different types of infections,” the academy’s citation read.
David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian received the award last year for their research on how the human body senses temperature and touch. Past winners in the field include a string of famous researchers, notably Alexander Fleming, who shared the 1945 prize for the discovery of penicillin, and Robert Koch, who won already in 1905 for his investigations of tuberculosis.
The Nobel Prize in Medicine sets off a week of Nobel Prize announcements. The physics prize is awarded on Tuesday, followed by chemistry on Wednesday and literature on Thursday. The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be revealed on Friday, while the economics prize will be given on October 10.
The rewards are worth 10 million Swedish kronor (almost $900,000) and will be awarded on December 10. The money was left by the prize's originator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.