… of membrane protein research.  Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for chemistry for their research in determining the structure and function of G-protein-coupled receptors, which mediate “communication” between cells and their environment. Over half of all medications (from beta blockers to antihistamines) work by interacting with these cell membrane receptors. Geared with this new fundamental understanding of G-protein-coupled receptors, scientists hope to develop better drugs which are more effecctive at targeting specific cells, and therefore cause fewer side-effects.

What does Dr. Lefkowitz have to say about this great honor?

“I was going to get a haircut, which if you could see me, you would see is quite a necessity, but I’m afraid that’ll probably have to be postponed.”

With half of the $1.2 million award coming his way, we’re confident that Dr. Lefkowitz will soon be able to afford all of the haircuts he wants.

Does news of such “scientific breakthroughs” affect your life? Is this something that we should all be more aware of, or is it better left to those in the scientific community?