Nobel Prizes - For Noble Minds The Nobel Tradition Continues

The Nobel Tradition Continues

Nobel Laureates

Robert Koch, Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1905

Koch is considered the founder of modern bacteriology. In the eighteen-eighties, the country doctor discovered the bacilli that caused tuberculosis and cholera. In a letter to Carl Zeiss he wrote, "A large part of my success I owe to your excellent microscopes". In 1904, he received the 10,000th ZEISS objective, a homogeneous immersion system, as a present.

Santiago Ramón y Cajal and Camillo Golgi, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 1906

Santiago Ramón y Cajal was a spanish neuroscientist and histologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906 with the Italian physician and scientist Camillo Golgi for their studies of the structure of the nervous system. Cajal used advanced devices of its time, inter alia a Carl Zeiss microscope.

Allvar Gullstrand, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 1911

The Swedish ophthalmologist Allvar Gullstrand is considered one of the founders of modern ophthalmology. In 1911 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work, together with Moritz von Rohr, carried out for dioptric apparatus of the eye, with which they made the correction of refractive errors of the eye through the lens on a scientific basis.

Richard Zsigmondy, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1925

As a professor at Goettingen, Zsigmondy conducted pioneering research in colloid chemistry. He invented the ultramicroscope in 1903, and two types of membrane filters in 1918 and 1922. Ultramicroscopy after Siedentopf and Zsigmondy makes visible submicroscopic particles whose linear extension is below the microscope's resolution limit.

Frits Zernike, Nobel Prize for Physics, 1953

The Dutch physicist, when experimenting with reflection gratings in 1930, discovered that he could observe the phase position of each ray, and sought to utilize the effect for microscopy. Together with ZEISS he developed the first phase-contrast microscope, the prototype of which was made in 1936. It allowed the examination of living cells without harmful chemical staining.

Manfred Eigen, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1967

The molecular biologist and director of the Max Planck Institute in Goettingen developed a method of keeping track of extremely fast chemical and biochemical processes. In a joint effort, Eigen, his Swedish colleague Rudolf Riegler and Carl Zeiss succeeded in 1993 to create ConfoCor, the first commercial fluorescence correlation spectrometer.

Erwin Neher and Bert Sakmann, Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1991

Together with Professor Sakman, he discovered the fundamental mechanism of communication between cells. Their studies included electrophysiological examinations of ion channels by means of the patch clamp technique.

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 1995

The German biologist Nüsslein-Volhard researches the genetic control of embryonic development with microscopes from Carl Zeiss. The focus of her scientific work was the question of how the complex organisms of humans and animals develop from an egg cell and what the basic mechanisms are.

Günter Blobel, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 1999

Günter Blobel has increased the understanding of how proteins are transported and arrive at their destination. His research has contributed to a better understanding of several hereditary diseases which are due to the lack of protein transport. Günter Blobel works at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute with ZEISS microscopes, e.g. Axiophot and Axiovert.


Ahmed H. Zewail, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1999

The winner of the Carl Zeiss Research Award 1992 is working in the field of femtosecond spectroscopy. He made very fast chemical reactions at single molecules directly observable with high spatial and temporal resolution. Zewail was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on femtochemistry.

Eric A. Cornell, Nobel Prize for Physics, 2001

Cornell is an American physicist who, along with Carl E. Wieman, was able to synthesize the first Bose–Einstein condensate in 1995. Therefore Cornell, Wieman, and Wolfgang Ketterle shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001. Before he received the Nobel Prize Cornell was awarded the Carl Zeiss Research Award.

Sir Paul M. Nurse, Leland H. Hartwell and Timothy Hunt, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 2001

Nurse, Hartwell and Hunt were awarded jointly for their pioneering, fundamental discoveries of critical components and processes which control the cell cycle - the growth and proliferation of cells.

Sydney Brenner, H. Robert Horvitz and John E. Suiston, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2002

Brenner, Horvitz and Sulston identified genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that are responsible for the regulation of organ development and programmed cell death (apoptosis).

Craig Mello and Andrew Fire, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 2006

Mello is an American biologist and professor of molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with Fire, for the discovery of RNA interference. The researchers received the Nobel Prize for work that began in 1998, when they published a paper in the journal Nature detailing how tiny snippets of RNA fool the cell into destroying the gene's messenger RNA (mRNA) before it can produce a protein - effectively shutting specific genes down. Mello has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 2000.

Harald zur Hausen, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 2008

With dogged persistence, physician zur Hausen worked on his theory that viruses can cause cancer – contrary to prevailing doctrines. He received the Nobel Prize for Medicine for proving his theory and thus destroying a medical dogma. Harald zur Hausen worked with a ZEISS transmission electron microscope.

Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2008

Osamu Shimomura, Professor Emeritus at Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008 for the discovery and development of green fluorescent protein (GFP) with two American scientists: Martin Chalfie of Columbia University and Roger Tsien of the University of California-San Diego. They were jointly awarded for discovering the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and further development for use in cell biology. By fluorescence of GFP, the spatial and temporal distribution of other proteins in living cells, tissues or organisms can be observed directly, thus laying the foundation for modern fluorescence microscopy.

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, Nobel Prize for Physics, 2010

Sir Andre Geim is a physicist working at the University of Manchester. On 5 October 2010 Geim was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with the Russian physicist Konstantin Novoselov "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene".

Dan Shechtman, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2011

Dan Shechtman, 70, is a professor of materials science at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. He was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "the discovery of quasicrystals". Quasicrystalline materials could be used in a large number of applications, including the formation of durable steel used for fine instrumentation, and non-stick insulation for electrical wires and cooking equipment.


Photo: Creative Commons Attr. 2.0 Generic license / Gladstone Institutes/Chris Goodfellow

Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 2012

Sir John B. Gurdon, 79, is British evolutionary biologist at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, UK. Shinya Yamanaka, 50, is a Japanese physician and stem cell researcher who is currently working for the Kyoto University in Japan and the Gladstone Institute in San Francisco, USA.
They were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent". Stem cells could replace destroyed tissue in future.
Gurdon uses ZEISS confocal microscopes for research. Working with ZEISS laser microdissection systems Yamanaka extracted genetic material free from contamination. Along with him Carl Zeiss Microscopy has created protocols for LCM applications.

Photo: Copyright M. Staley/HHMI, B. Schuller/MPI, K. Lowder/Wikimedia

Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2014

The break-through work of the three laureates in developing superresolution microscopy methods contributed significantly to groundbreaking scientific research over the past 10 years. With this Nobel Prize the Nobel Committee recognizes the importance of superresolution light microscopy for advances in research and science. ZEISS exclusively licensed PALM, developed jointly by Eric Betzig and Harald Hess, as a superresolution technique for single-molecule localization with the ELYRA PS.1 microscope system.

Photo: Copyright D. Bishop/UCL & G. Mogen/NTNU

John O'Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 2014

The discoveries of John O´Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries – how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment? May-Britt and Edvard Moser used various ZEISS light and stereo microscopes for their discovery and ongoing research of the so-called “grid cells” of the nervous system.