The announcement of the Nobel Prize for medicine on Monday opens the prestigious award season that shines a spotlight on the world's top scholars and peacemakers.
2012 list will be updated.
Recent winners of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, and their research, according to the Nobel Foundation:
— 2012: Briton John Gurdon and Japan's Shinya Yamanaka for their discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed into immature cells that can be turned into all tissues of the body, a finding that revolutionized understanding of how cells and organisms develop.
— 2011: American Bruce Beutler and French researcher Jules Hoffmann for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity, sharing it with Canadian-born Ralph Steinman for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.
— 2010: British researcher Robert Edwards for the development of in vitro fertilization.
— 2009: Americans Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for their discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase, research that has implications for cancer and aging research.
— 2008: Harald zur Hausen and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier for discoveries of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer and the discovery of human immunodeficiency virus.
— 2007: Mario R. Capecchi and Oliver Smithies of the United States and Martin J. Evans of the United Kingdom, for their discoveries leading to a powerful technique for manipulating mouse genes.
— 2006: Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello, of the United States, for their work in controlling the flow of genetic information.
— 2005: Barry J. Marshall and Robin Warren, of Australia, for their work in how the bacterium Helicobacter pylori plays a role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
— 2004: Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck, both of the United States, for their work in studying odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system in human beings.
— 2003: Paul C. Lauterbur, United States, and Sir Peter Mansfield, Britain, for discoveries in magnetic resonance imaging, a technique that reveals the brain and inner organs in breathtaking detail.
— 2002: Sydney Brenner and John E. Sulston, Britain, and H. Robert Horvitz, United States, for discoveries concerning how genes regulate organ development and a process of programmed cell death.
— 2001: Leland H. Hartwell, United States, R. Timothy Hunt and Sir Paul M. Nurse, Britain, for the discovery of key regulators of the process that lets cells divide, which is expected to lead to new cancer treatments.
— 2000: Arvid Carlsson, Sweden, Paul Greengard and Eric R. Kandel, United States, for research on how brain cells transmit signals to each other, thus increasing understanding on how the brain functions and how neurological and psychiatric disorders may be treated better.
— 1999: Guenter Blobel, United States, for protein research that shed new light on diseases, including cystic fibrosis and early development of kidney stones.
— 1998: Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad, United States, for the discovery of properties of nitric oxide, a common air pollutant but also a lifesaver because of its capacity to dilate blood vessels.
The Nobel Assembly's anticipated announcement at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is the first in a series of prizes that will be announced this week.
The Norweigian Nobel committee will announce the most anticipated of the annual honors -- the Nobel Peace Prize -- on Friday in Oslo.
The prizes created in 1895 by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel honor work in physics, chemistry, literature, and peace. Economics was added as a category in 1968, and the first prize awarded for economic sciences was in 1969.
The monetary award that accompanies the Nobel Prize was lowered by the foundation this year by 20 percent from 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.5 million) to 8 million kronor ($1.2 million) because of turbulence that hit the financial markets.
On Tuesday, the committee will announce its award for achievement in physics. The next day, the winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry will be announced.
On October 15, the committee will announce its award for the prize for economics.
A date for the announcement of the literature prize has not been set.
Since 1901, the committee has handed out the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 101 times. The youngest recipient was Frederick G. Banting, who won in 1923 at the age of 32. The oldest medicine laureate was Peyton Rous, who was 87 years old when he was awarded the prize in 1966.
To date, no one has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or
Medicine more than once.
One half of the prize in medicine went last year to Ralph Steinman, who died just days before the Nobel committee's announcement.
Steinman was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.
Steinman, a Canadian immunologist, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 68. He used a kind of experimental dendritic cell-based immunotherapy he designed in his treatment, according to Rockefeller University, where he conducted his research.
The Nobel committee was unaware of his death. Had it known, its own rules would have precluded him being selected as a winner.
The other half of the prize went to Bruce Beutler and Jules A. Hoffman for discovering proteins that detect bacteria in the body and activate the immune system's first line of defense, a process known as innate immunity.