1. Ardem Patapoutian
Ardem Patapoutian won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Medicine alongside fellow American David Julius despite them carrying out the work independently. The Nobel laureate was originally born in Lebanon to Armenian parents and moved to the U.S. to pursue higher education The duo’s discovery of receptors in the skin that sense temperature and touch could pave the way for new and more effective painkillers. Thanks to Patapoutian’s research, we can now understand how humans convert the physical impact of heat or touch into nerve impulses. The molecular biologist and neurologist currently works at Scripps Research in La Jolla.
2. Carol W. Greider
This San Diego-born molecular biologist and Nobel Prize winner first discovered the enzyme telomerase in 1984—Greider was still a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley back then. After graduation, she pioneered research on the structure of telomeres, and in 2009, Greider became the honorary recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine, alongside two fellow scientists. The three discovered that telomeres are protected from progressive shortening by the enzyme telomerase. As one of the most famous women in the history of California and the world, Greider is now a professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Nobel Prize Winners in Physics
3. Robert Betts Laughlin
This Nobel Prize winner in Physics has a function named after him, the Laughlin Wavefunction. Robert B. Laughlin, along with Horst L. Stomer and Daniel C. Tsui, was awarded a share of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics for their explanation of the fractional quantum hall effect. To break it down to you, this is when an electrical current flows through a metal band and a magnetic field is situated at a right angle of said band, a diagonal charge arises within the band. Laughlin now teaches Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University.
4. Eric Allin Cornell
Born in Palo Alto, Eric Allin Cornell is famous for synthesizing the first Bose-Einstein condensate in 1995. Back in 1924, Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein predicted that at very low temperatures atoms with whole-number spins can concentrate in the lowest energy state, forming a Bose-Einstein condensate. That prediction was proven right in 1995 when Eric Cornell and his friends proved it in a rarefied gas of rubidium atoms at a very low temperature. Alongside fellow physicists Carl Wieman, and Wolfgang Ketterle, they won the shared Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001.
Nobel Prize Winners in Chemistry