ASBMB Nobel Prize Winners

1982 - Sune Bergström



Sune K. Bergström (1916-2004) was awarded one-third of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries concerning prostaglandins -- hormones found in virtually all tissues and organs -- and related biologically-active substances. Using countercurrent fractionations (in which a mixture is separated into smaller quantities to determine their composition) and partition chromatography (another mixture separation technique), Bergström was able to isolate small amounts of prostaglandin E1 and F1α. Then, along with fellow Nobel Laureate Bengt Samuelsson, Bergström deduced the structures of prostaglandins E1, F1α, and F1β from mass spectrometric identification, or measure of the mass-to-charge ratio, of the products formed when the prostaglandins were treated with a weak acid or base.