ASBMB Nobel Prize Winners

1994 - Alfred G. Gilman



Alfred Goodman Gilman (1941- present) was awarded half the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of G proteins and the role these proteins play in signal transduction. It was already known that a cell responds to a chemical signal using a receptor and an amplifier or effector, as well as an intermediary molecule that transduces the messages from the receptor to the amplifier. Gilman used mutant cells with signaling deficiencies and identified the intermediary molecule, calling it a G protein, because it became activated when bound to guanosine triphosphate. He found that abnormal G proteins can affect a normal signal transduction process.