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November 12, 1982

Prostaglandin research captures Nobel prize

JAMA. 1982;248(18):2212-2213. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330180006004

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The 1982 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded Oct 11 to three researchers instrumental in both the discovery of the family of chemical messengers called prostaglandins and the unraveling of the functions of these natural substances.

The award was given jointly to Sune K. Bergstrom, MD, PhD, 66, and Bengt I. Samuelsson, MD, 48, both of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and John R. Vane, DSc, 55, director of research at the Wellcome Research Foundation in Beckenham, England.

In an interview with JAMA MEDICAL NEWS, Bergstrom emphasized the importance of the prostaglandin system by noting that "prostaglandins are synthesized in all nucleated cells in the body and can influence the functioning of any type of cell. They [constitute] a general regulatory mechanism for mammalian physiology."

This year's Nobel honors again show the predictive power of the comparable American prize, the Albert Lasker medical research award. In 1977, the same