Top 50 Nobel laureates with utility patents from 2005
The Nobel Prize is a set of international awards that are given annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine or physiology, literature, and peace. The prizes were established by the Swedish chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel in 1895 and have been awarded annually since 1901.
Shuji Nakamura – is a Japanese-born American electronic engineer and inventor specializing in the field of semiconductor technology, a professor at the Materials Department of the College of Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and is regarded as the inventor of the blue LED, a major breakthrough in lighting technology.
Together with Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, he is one of the three recipients of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”. In 2015, his input into commercialization and development of energy-efficient white LED lighting technology was recognized by the Global Energy Prize.
Robert Howard Grubbs – was an American chemist and the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. He was a co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on olefin metathesis.
Grubbs was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2015 for developments in catalysts that have enabled commercial products.
He was a co-founder of Materia, a university spin-off startup to produce catalysts
Jennifer Anne Doudna – is an American biochemist who has done pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing, and made other fundamental contributions in biochemistry and genetics.
Doudna was one of the first women to share a Nobel in the sciences. She received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with Emmanuelle Charpentier, “for the development of a method for genome editing.” She is the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has been an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1997.
Richard Errett Smalley – was an American chemist who was the Gene and Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy at Rice University.
In 1996, along with Robert Curl, also a professor of chemistry at Rice, and Harold Kroto, a professor at the University of Sussex, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of a new form of carbon, buckminsterfullerene, also known as buckyballs. He was an advocate of nanotechnology and its applications.
Roger Yonchien Tsien – was an American biochemist. He was a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, in collaboration with organic chemist Osamu Shimomura and neurobiologist Martin Chalfie. Tsien was also a pioneer of calcium imaging.
David Baltimore – is an American biologist, university administrator, and 1975 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine. He is President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Baltimore has profoundly influenced international science, including key contributions to immunology, virology, cancer research, biotechnology, and recombinant DNA research, through his accomplishments as a researcher, administrator, educator, and public advocate for science and engineering.
Carolyn Ruth Bertozzi – is an American chemist and Nobel laureate, known for her wide-ranging work spanning chemistry and biology. She coined the term “bioorthogonal chemistry” for chemical reactions compatible with living systems. Her recent efforts include the synthesis of chemical tools to study cell surface sugars called glycans and how they affect diseases such as cancer, inflammation, and viral infections like COVID-19.
Bertozzi was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, jointly with Morten P. Meldal and Karl Barry Sharpless, “for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry”.
Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier – is a French professor and researcher in microbiology, genetics, and biochemistry.
In 2020, Charpentier and American biochemist Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the development of a method for genome editing” (through CRISPR). This was the first science Nobel Prize ever won by two women only.
Sydney Brenner – was a South African biologist.
In 2002, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with H. Robert Horvitz and Sir John E. Sulston.
Brenner made significant contributions to work on the genetic code, and other areas of molecular biology while working in the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.
He established the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for investigating developmental biology and founded the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, California, United States.
Sir Michael Houghton – is a British scientist and Nobel Prize laureate. Along with Qui-Lim Choo, George Kuo and Daniel W. Bradley, he co-discovered Hepatitis C in 1989. He also co-discovered the Hepatitis D genome in 1986. The discovery of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) led to the rapid development of diagnostic reagents to detect HCV in blood supplies, which has reduced the risk of acquiring HCV through blood transfusion from one in three to about one in two million.
He is the co-recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice.
Stefan Walter Hell – is a Romanian-German physicist and one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany.
He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014 “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”, together with Eric Betzig and William Moerner.
Brian Kent Kobilka – is an American physiologist and a recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Robert Lefkowitz for discoveries that reveal the workings of G protein-coupled receptors.
He is currently a professor in the department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
He is also a co-founder of ConfometRx, a biotechnology company focusing on G protein-coupled receptors.
Shinya Yamanaka – is a Japanese stem cell researcher and a Nobel Prize laureate. He serves as the director of Center for iPS Cell (induced Pluripotent Stem Cell) Research and Application and a professor at the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences at Kyoto University.
In 2012, he and John Gurdon were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells.
Sir Gregory Paul Winter – is a Nobel Prize-winning English molecular biologist best known for his work on the therapeutic use of monoclonal antibodies. His research career has been based almost entirely at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering, in Cambridge, England.
He is credited with having invented techniques to both humanise (1986) and, later, to fully humanise using phage display, antibodies for therapeutic uses. For these developments Winter was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with George Smith and Frances Arnold.
Richard R. Schrock – is an American chemist and Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry (2005) for his work in the area of olefin metathesis.
He is known for his contributions to the development of efficient and highly selective catalysts for olefin metathesis reactions.
He has published numerous research articles and is widely regarded as a pioneer in the field of organic chemistry.
Frances Hamilton Arnold – is an American chemical engineer and Nobel Laureate.
She is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In 2018, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering the use of directed evolution to engineer enzymes.
Since January 2021, she serves as an external co-chair of President Joe Biden’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
George Andrew Olah – was a Hungarian-American chemist. His research involved the generation and reactivity of carbocations via superacids. For this research, Olah was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1994 “for his contribution to carbocation chemistry.”
Gerd Binnig – is a German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986 for the invention of the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM).
The STM allowed scientists to directly image and manipulate individual atoms on a surface for the first time, leading to major advances in the field of nanotechnology. Binnig shared the prize with his colleague Heinrich Rohrer.
Tasuku Honjo – is a Japanese physician-scientist and immunologist.
He won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and is best known for his identification of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1).
He is also known for his molecular identification of cytokines: IL-4 and IL-5, as well as the discovery of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) that is essential for class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation.
John Bannister Goodenough – is an American materials scientist, a solid-state physicist, and a Nobel laureate in chemistry.
He is widely credited with the identification and development of the lithium-ion battery, for developing the Goodenough–Kanamori rules in determining the sign of the magnetic superexchange in materials, and for seminal developments in computer random-access memory.
In 2019, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry alongside M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, and, at 97 years old, became the oldest Nobel laureate in history.
Akira Yoshino – is a Japanese chemist.
He is a fellow of Asahi Kasei Corporation and a professor at Meijo University in Nagoya.
He created the first safe, production-viable lithium-ion battery which became used widely in cellular phones and notebook computers.
Yoshino was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2019 alongside M. Stanley Whittingham and John B. Goodenough.
Hamilton O. Smith – is an American microbiologist and biochemist.
He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1978 for his discovery of restriction enzymes, which are critical tools for studying DNA and genetic information.
These enzymes allow scientists to cut and manipulate DNA, leading to major advances in fields such as genetics and biotechnology. Smith’s work laid the foundation for the development of recombinant DNA technology and gene editing.
K. Barry Sharpless – is an American chemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2001 for his work in the field of organic chemistry, specifically in the area of asymmetric synthesis. Asymmetric synthesis refers to the production of molecules with a specific handedness or chirality and is crucial in the development of many pharmaceuticals.
Sharpless’ work has contributed to the development of new methods for creating complex, chiral molecules, and has had a major impact on the pharmaceutical industry.
Alan J. Heeger is an American physicist and chemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000 for his discovery and development of conductive polymers.
Heeger’s discovery opened up new avenues for research in the field of materials science and has had a significant impact on many industries, including electronics and energy.
Luc Montagnier – is a French virologist and co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008 for his discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Montagnier’s work, conducted at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, showed that AIDS is caused by a virus, which he named HIV. This discovery was a major step towards understanding and ultimately combating the AIDS epidemic, and has led to the development of antiretroviral drugs and other treatments for those infected with HIV. Montagnier’s work has had a profound impact on public health and medical research.
Steven Chu – is an American physicist and former Secretary of Energy under President Barack Obama.
Chu is a Nobel Prize laureate in Physics, having won the prize in 1997 for his work in the field of cooling and trapping atoms using lasers.
Chu’s contributions to physics have earned him numerous honours and awards, and he has continued to be a leader in the energy and climate change policy arena.
Gerald Maurice Edelman – was an American biologist who shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work with Rodney Robert Porter on the immune system.
Edelman’s Nobel Prize-winning research concerned the discovery of the structure of antibody molecules. In interviews, he has said that the way the components of the immune system evolve over the life of the individual is analogous to the way the components of the brain evolve in a lifetime.
Thomas Robert Cech – is an American chemist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Sidney Altman, for their discovery of the catalytic properties of RNA. Cech discovered that RNA could itself cut strands of RNA, suggesting that life might have started as RNA.
He also studied telomeres, and his lab discovered an enzyme, TERT
Isamu Akasaki – was a Japanese engineer and physicist, specializing in the field of semiconductor technology and Nobel Prize laureate, best known for inventing the bright gallium nitride (GaN) p-n junction blue LED in 1989 and subsequently the high-brightness GaN blue LED as well.
Sir James Fraser Stoddart – is a Scottish chemist and nanotechnologies.
In 2016, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in the design and synthesis of molecular machines. Stoddart’s work has paved the way for the development of new materials and devices with potential applications in various fields, including electronics, energy, and medicine.
Phillip Allen Sharp – is an American geneticist and molecular biologist who co-discovered RNA splicing.
He shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Richard J. Roberts for “the discovery that genes in eukaryotes are not contiguous strings but contain introns, and that the splicing of messenger RNA to delete those introns can occur in different ways, yielding different proteins from the same DNA sequence”.
Craig Mello – is an American molecular biologist and geneticist. Mello is best known for his work on RNA interference (RNAi), a cellular process that regulates gene expression.
In 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with his colleague Andrew Fire, for their discovery of RNAi. Mello’s work has had a profound impact on the field of genetics and has opened up new avenues for research in areas such as drug discovery and gene therapy.
Ralph Marvin Steinman – was a Canadian immunologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2011 (posthumously) for his discovery of dendritic cells and their role in the immune system. Steinman’s research helped to lay the foundation for the development of new treatments for diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders.
Paul Greengard – is an American neuroscientist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000 for his work on the molecular and cellular basis of signal transduction in the nervous system. Greengard’s research showed how neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine affect the activity of nerve cells and led to new insights into brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and depression.
Stanley B. Prusiner – is an American neuroscientist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997 for his discovery of prions, a new class of infectious agents that cause diseases such as mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Prusiner’s work challenged the prevailing scientific beliefs about the nature of infectious agents and provided new insights into the mechanism of brain diseases
William G. Kaelin – is an American physician-scientist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2019 for his research on how cells sense and respond to changes in oxygen levels. Kaelin’s work has provided important insights into how cells regulate their oxygen supply and how disruptions in this process can lead to diseases such as cancer and anemia.
Robert Betts Laughlin – is an American physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1998 for his contribution to the understanding of the fractional quantum Hall effect. Laughlin’s work provided a new way of thinking about the behaviour of electrons in a magnetic field and led to the discovery of a new state of matter, known as the fractional quantum Hall state.
Ahmed H. Zewail – was an Egyptian-American chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1999 for his pioneering work in femtochemistry, the study of chemical reactions on very short timescales. Zewail’s work provided new insights into the behaviour of molecules and chemical reactions and led to the development of a new field of study.
J. Fraser Stoddart – is a Scottish-American chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016 for his work in the design and synthesis of molecular machines. Stoddart’s work has provided new insights into how molecular-scale devices can be constructed and how they can be used to perform specific functions.
He has made numerous contributions to the field of chemistry and continues to conduct research in the area of molecular machines and nanotechnology.
Koichi Tanaka is a Japanese mass spectrometrist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2002 for his work in developing soft laser desorption ionization, a method for analyzing large biological molecules such as proteins. Tanaka’s work has provided new insights into the structure and function of proteins and has led to the development of new strategies for diagnosing and treating diseases.
He is currently a senior researcher at Shimadzu Corporation and continues to conduct research in the field of mass spectrometry.
Richard J. Roberts – is a British biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 for his discovery of split genes, a finding that revolutionized our understanding of gene structure and function. Roberts’s work provided new insights into how genes are regulated and how they control the expression of traits.
Michael S. Brown – is an American physician and molecular geneticist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985 for his work on the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Brown and his colleague Joseph L. Goldstein discovered the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor and showed how its defects can lead to elevated levels of LDL cholesterol and an increased risk of heart disease.
Joseph L. Goldstein – is an American physician and molecular geneticist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985 for his work on the regulation of cholesterol metabolism.
Goldstein is currently a professor of genetics and molecular biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and continues to conduct research in the area of cholesterol metabolism and heart disease.
Jean-Marie Lehn – is a French chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987 for his work on supramolecular chemistry, the study of complex molecular systems. Lehn’s work has provided new insights into the behaviour of molecules and how they interact with one another to form more complex structures.
He is currently a professor at the University of Strasbourg and continues to conduct research in the field of supramolecular chemistry.
Aaron Klug – is a Lithuanian-born British biophysicist and biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1982 for his work in the development of crystallographic electron microscopy. Klug’s work has provided new insights into the structure of biological molecules and has led to a better understanding of how these molecules function.
He is best known for his pioneering work on the structure of viruses and for developing new methods for analyzing the structure of biological molecules.
H. Robert Horvitz is an American biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002 for his work on the genetic regulation of programmed cell death, also known as apoptosis. His findings have important implications for the development of new strategies for treating cancer and other diseases.
Horvitz is currently a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a leading researcher in the field of cell biology and genetics.
David Jay Julius – is an American physiologist and Nobel Prize laureate known for his work on molecular mechanisms of pain sensation and heat, including the characterization of the TRPV1 and TRPM8 receptors that detect capsaicin, menthol, and temperature. He is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
He was awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Ardem Patapoutian.
Paul R. Milgrom – is an American economist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2020 for his contributions to auction theory and market design. Milgrom’s work has provided new insights into how markets work and how they can be designed to increase efficiency and improve outcomes for buyers and sellers.
He is currently a professor of economics at Stanford University and continues to conduct research in the field of market design and auction theory.
Johannes Georg Bednorz – is a German physicist awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1987 for his work on high-temperature superconductivity. Bednorz’s work with K. Alex Müller led to the discovery of a new class of superconducting materials that could revolutionize the field of electrical engineering.
Bednorz continues to conduct research in solid-state physics and is widely regarded as one of the leading researchers in the field of high-temperature superconductivity.
Robert Huber – is a German biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1988 for his work in determining the three-dimensional structure of a large protein molecule, which is known as the reaction center of photosynthesis. He is widely recognized for his pioneering work in the field of protein crystallography, a method for determining the three-dimensional structure of biological molecules using X-ray crystallography.
Huber continues to conduct research in structural biology and is widely regarded as one of the leading researchers in this field.