Cell Receptor Work Awarded Nobel Prize for ChemistryWorld | October 10, 2012, Wednesday // 14:06| views
In 1987 Brian Kobilka (l) joined forces with Robert Lefkowitz at the HHMI. Photo by Getty Images
Two US researchers have won the 2012 Nobel prize in chemistry for showing how cells receptors in the body respond to stimuli.
Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka, both of the US, will share the prize of 8m Swedish kronor.
Their work focuses on what are called G protein-coupled receptors, a number of proteins that reach through cell walls.
Understanding how they work has been crucial to unraveling the complex network of signaling between cells and helping the development of more effective drugs.
The first-ever Nobel prize in chemistry was awarded to Dutchman Jacobus van 't Hoff for his research into reaction rates and osmotic pressure.
The total number of chemistry Nobel recipients has now reached 163.
On Monday, the 2012 prize for medicine or physiology was awarded to John Gurdon from the UK and Shinya Yamanaka from Japan for changing adult cells into stem cells, and on Tuesday the prize for physics was awarded to Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the US for their work in querying single light and matter particles.
The prizes for literature and peace will be awarded later in the week, with the economics prize to be announced on Monday.