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Investing in Discovery

An Overview of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences

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Nobel Prizes

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Nobel Prizes

TetrahymenaGreider is pictured with fellow Johns Hopkins University scientist-and Nobel laureate-Peter Agre.
Left:This microscopic swimmer called Tetrahymena helped Carol Greider and others examine chromosome tips (telomeres). Their work was honored with the 2009 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.
Right: Greider is pictured with fellow Johns Hopkins University scientist—and Nobel laureate—Peter Agre.

Supporting high-quality research is a defining characteristic of NIGMS. Many of the Institute's grantees earn prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, the highest honor bestowed in science. Over its 52 years, NIGMS has funded the Nobel Prize-winning work of 81 scientists. Among their discoveries:

  • Translating the genetic code and explaining how it functions.
  • Defining the internal organization of cells using electron microscopy and other techniques.
  • Finding that RNA can act as a catalyst, controlling and directing cellular functions.
  • Discovering restriction enzymes, which cut DNA at precise locations and are a cornerstone of the biotechnology industry.
  • Identifying proteins that trigger a cell's response to outside signals and are involved in normal activities as well as diseases like cancer, cholera and diabetes.

A complete list of NIGMS-funded Nobelists is at http://www.nigms.nih.gov/GMNobelists.

This page last reviewed on October 8, 2014