Nobel Prize Award for Physiology and Medicine 1960 - 1965

About the winners of the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine from 1960 to 1965 including Bekesy, Jacob, and Lwoff, as well as behind the scenes information on the decision.

1961 Georg von Bekesy (1899- ), American (b. Hungary). Work: Studies of the inner ear.

Behind the Award--The prize this year was $48,300. Georg Bekesy, the man who won it, had only honorary medical degrees. He would never be allowed to treat a patient. It was through his work as a telephone engineer that he began his studies of the inner ear, particularly the cochlea (a spiral canal in the inner ear). He built models, and he put a hole in the head of a corpse and then, using strobe lighting, he watched the effect of sound waves on the cochlea, which is linked to the eardrum by 3 tiny bones. His findings have given ear specialists new methods of diagnosing deafness.

1962 Francis H. C. Crick (1916- ), English.

James D. Watson (1928- ), American.

Maurice H. F. Wilkins (1916- ), British. Work: Studies of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and its ability to transfer information.

1963 Alan L. Hodgkin (1914- ), English.

Andrew F. Huxley (1917- ), English.

John C. Eccles (1903- ), Australian. Work: Studies of nerve cells and their electrochemical exchanges.

1964 Konrad E. Bloch (1912- ), American (b. Germany).

Feodor Lynen (1911- ), German. Work: Research relating to cholesterol metabolism.

1965 Francois Jacob (1920- ), French.

Andre M. Lwoff (1902- ), French.

Jacques L. Monod (1910- ), French. Work: Discovery of body cell processes that have to do with genetic control of enzymes and virus synthesis.

Behind the Award--These 3 men shared the 1st Nobel Prize in science given to any Frenchman in 30 years. Before they received it, they had been fighting, without much luck, to take over the administrative council of the Pasteur Institute from mossback politicians. The council had refused to raise salaries to the level of those at the Sorbonne, were stalling on construction of a molecular biology building, and would not accept help from the French Government. After they received the prize, the 3 men used a press conference to lambaste the French establishment for the inadequate research conditions in their country. They had been back from Stockholm only 3 weeks before they were able to get control of the institute. "We've gone from zero to the condition of movie stars," one of them said.

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