Member Michael W. Young wins Nobel

Michael Young

Michael W. Young at the Rockefeller University and Michael Rosbash and Jeffrey C. Hall at Brandeis University have won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythm.

The oscillations of the circadian rhythm are responsible for the regular, daily functioning of countless biological processes, including sleep, metabolism, hormone regulation and body temperature. By exploring the process in fruit flies, the Nobel laureates isolated the gene that drives the oscillations by encoding a protein that accumulates in cells during the day and is degraded at night. This daily cycle, by which cellular clockwork is coupled to the Earth’s, has since been observed in plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria.

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, which issues the prize, in a press release noted that “the seminal discoveries by Hall, Rosbash and Young have revealed a crucial physiological mechanism explaining circadian adaptation, with important implications for human health and disease.”

Read more in ASBMB Today.