Nobel Prizes

Lab animals have made important contributions to nearly every Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Nobel Prizes in Medicine

Lab animals have played important roles in Nobel Prize winning medical discoveries and breakthroughs.

In fact, since 1979, every Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded has had foundations in animal testing and research. The exception is the 1983 Prize awarded to Dr. Barbara McClintock for her work in plant genetics. Learn more about the animal testing and research behind Nobel Prize winning work in the chart below.

YearNobel LaureateAnimal ModelContribution to Modern Medicine
2015William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura & Youyou Tumice, dogs, sheep, cattle, chickens, monkeys William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites and Youyou Tu for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria
2014John O'Keefe and May-Britt & Edvard I. MoserratsDiscoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain (an inner GPS)
2013James E. RothmanhamstersDiscoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells
2013Thomas C. Südhof MiceDiscoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells
2012Sir John B. GurdonFrogs, miceFor the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent
2012Shinya YamanakaFrogs, miceFor the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent
2011Bruce A. BeutlerMiceDiscoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity
2011Jules A. HoffmannFliesDiscoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity
2011Ralph M. SteinmanMiceFor his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity
2010Robert G. EdwardsRabbitsThe development of in vitro fertilization
2009Carol W. GreiderProtozoan, mouse, frogDiscovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase
2009Elizabeth H. BlackburnProtozoan, mouseDiscovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase
2009Jack W. Szostak ProtozoanDiscovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase
2008Harald zur Hausen Hamster, mouse, cowDiscovery of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer
2008Françoise Barré-Sinoussi Monkey, chimpanzee, mouseDiscovery of human immunodeficiency virus
2008Luc Montagnier Monkey, chimpanzee, mouseDiscovery of human immunodeficiency virus
2007Mario R. CapecchiMouseDiscoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells
2007Sir Martin J. Evans Mouse, ChickDiscoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells
2007Oliver Smithies MouseDiscoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells
2006Andrew Z. Fire Nematode roundwormDiscovery of RNA interference - gene silencing by double-stranded RNA
2006Craig C. Mello Nematode roundwormDiscovery of RNA interference - gene silencing by double-stranded RNA
2005Barry J. MarshallPigletDiscovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease
2004Richard Axel Mouse, Drosophila (fruit flies)Discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system
2004Linda B. BuckMouseDiscoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system"
2003Paul C. LauterburClam, mouse, dog, rat, chimpanzee, pig, rabbit, frogDiscoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
2003Sir Peter MansfieldClam, mouse, dog, rat, chimpanzee, pig, rabbit, frogDiscoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
2002 H. Robert Horvitz NematodeGenetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death
2002Sydney Brenner NematodeGenetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death
2002John E. SulstonNematodeGenetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death
2001Leland H. Hartwell Sea urchin, frogDiscoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle
2001Tim Hunt Sea urchin, frog, Rabbit, Xenopus, ClamDiscoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle
2001Sir Paul M. NurseSea urchin, frogDiscoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle
2000Arvid Carlsson Sea slug, mouseDiscoveries in signal transduction in the nervous system
2000Paul Greengard Sea slug, mouseDiscoveries in signal transduction in the nervous system
2000Eric R. Kandel Sea slug, mouseDiscoveries in signal transduction in the nervous system
1999Günter Blobel Mouse, rat, dogDiscovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell
1998Robert F. FurchgottRabbitRegulation of blood pressure with nitric oxide (NO)
1998Louis J. Ignarro RabbitRegulation of blood pressure with nitric oxide (NO)
1998Ferid Murad RabbitRegulation of blood pressure with nitric oxide (NO)
1997Stanley B. PrusinerMouse, hamsterDiscovery of prions, a new biological principle of infection
1996Peter C. Doherty MouseRecognition of virus-infected cells by the immune system
1996Rolf M. ZinkernagelMouseRecognition of virus-infected cells by the immune system
1995Edward B. Lewis Fruit flyGenetic control of early embryonic development
1995Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Fruit flyGenetic control of early embryonic development
1995Eric F. Wieschaus Fruit flyGenetic control of early embryonic development
1994Alfred G. Gilman Rat, cow, rabbit, turkeyDiscovery of G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells
1994Martin Rodbell Rat, guinea pig, turkeyDiscovery of G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells
1993Richard J. Roberts RatsDiscoveries of split genes
1993Phillip A. Sharp MiceDiscoveries of split genes
1992Edmond H. Fischer RabbitDiscoveries concerning reversible protein phosphorylation as a biological regulatory mechanism
1992Edwin G. Krebs Rabbit, RatDiscoveries concerning reversible protein phosphorylation as a biological regulatory mechanism
1991Erwin Neher FrogChemical communication between cells
1991Bert Sakmann FrogChemical communication between cells
1990Joseph E. MurrayDogOrgan transplantation techniques
1990E. Donnall ThomasDogOrgan transplantation techniques
1989Harold E. Varmus ChickenDiscovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes
1989J. Michael Bishop ChickenDiscovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes
1988Sir James W. Black Guinea pig, cat, dog, ratDiscoveries of important principles for drug treatment
1988Gertrude B. ElionMice, dog, rabbit, monkeyDiscoveries of important principles for drug treatment
1988George H. Hitchings Mice, rat, dogDiscoveries of important principles for drug treatment
1987Susumu TonegawaMouse embryoDiscovery of genetic principle for generation of antibody diversity
1986Stanley CohenMouse, chick, snakeNerve growth factor and epidermal growth factor
1986Rita Levi-MontalciniMouse, chick, snakeNerve growth factor and epidermal growth factor
1985Michael S. Brown RatsDiscoveries concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism
1985Joseph L. Goldstein RatsDiscoveries concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism
1984Niels K. Jerne MouseTechniques of monoclonal antibody formation
1984Georges J.F. Köhler MouseTechniques of monoclonal antibody formation
1984César Milstein MouseTechniques of monoclonal antibody formation
1982Sune K. Bergström Rat, rabbit, guinea pigDiscovery of prostaglandins
1982Bengt I. Samuelsson Rat, rabbit, guinea pigDiscovery of prostaglandins
1982John R. Vane Rat, rabbit, guinea pigDiscovery of prostaglandins
1981Roger W. Sperry Cat, monkeyDiscoveries concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres
1981David H. Hubel Cat, monkeyDiscoveries concerning information processing in the visual system
1981Torsten N. Wiesel Cat, monkeyDiscoveries concerning information processing in the visual system
1980Baruj Benacerraf Mouse, guinea pigIdentification of histocompatibility antigens and mechanism of action
1980Jean DaussetMouse, guinea pigIdentification of histocompatibility antigens and mechanism of action
1980George D. Snell Mouse, guinea pigIdentification of histocompatibility antigens and mechanism of action
1979Allan M. Cormack PigDevelopment of computer assisted tomography (CAT scan)
1979Godfrey N. Hounsfield PigDevelopment of computer assisted tomography (CAT scan)
1977Roger Guillemin Sheep, pigDiscoveries concerning the peptide hormone production of the brain
1977Andrew V. SchallySheep, pigDiscoveries concerning the peptide hormone production of the brain
1977Rosalyn Yalow Sheep, pigDevelopment of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones
1976Baruch S. Blumberg ChimpanzeeNew mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases
1976D. Carleton Gajdusek ChimpanzeeNew mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases
1975David BaltimoreMonkey, horse, chicken, mouseInteraction between tumor viruses and genetic material
1975Renato Dulbecco Monkey, horse, chicken, mouseInteraction between tumor viruses and genetic material
1975Howard Martin Temin Monkey, horse, chicken, mouseInteraction between tumor viruses and genetic material
1974Albert ClaudeChicken, guinea pig, ratStructural and functional organization of cells
1974Christian de Duve Chicken, guinea pig, ratStructural and functional organization of cells
1974George E. Palade Chicken, guinea pig, ratStructural and functional organization of cells
1973Karl von FrischBee, bird, fishOrganization of social and behavior patterns in animals
1973Konrad Lorenz Bee, bird, fishOrganization of social and behavior patterns in animals
1973Nikolaas Tinbergen Bee, bird, fishOrganization of social and behavior patterns in animals
1972Gerald M. Edelman Guinea pig, rabbitChemical structure of antibodies
1972Rodney R. Porter Guinea pig, rabbitChemical structure of antibodies
1971Earl W. Sutherland, Jr. Mammalian liverMechanism of the actions of hormones
1970Sir Bernard Katz Cat, ratMechanism of storage and release of nerve transmitters
1970Ulf von Euler Cat, ratMechanism of storage and release of nerve transmitters
1970Julius Axelrod Cat, ratMechanism of storage and release of nerve transmitters
1968Robert W. Holley RatInterpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis
1968 Har Gobind Khorana RatInterpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis
1968Marshall W. Nirenberg Primary physiological and chemical processes of vision
1967Ragnar GranitChicken, rabbit, fish, crabPrimary physiological and chemical processes of vision
1967Haldan Keffer Hartline Chicken, rabbit, fish, crabPrimary physiological and chemical processes of vision
1967George Wald Chicken, rabbit, fish, crabPrimary physiological and chemical processes of vision
1966Peyton Rous Rat, rabbit, henDiscovery of tumor-inducing viruses
1966Charles Brenton Huggins Rat, rabbit, henDiscoveries concerning hormonal treatment of prostatic cancer
1964Konrad Bloch RatRegulation of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism
1964Feodor LynenRatRegulation of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism
1963Sir John Carew Eccles Cat, frog, squid, crabIonic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane
1963Alan Lloyd HodgkinCat, frog, squid, crabIonic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane
1963Andrew Fielding Huxley Cat, frog, squid, crabIonic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane
1961Georg von Békésy Guinea pigPhysical mechanism of stimulation within the cochlea
1960Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet RabbitDiscovery of acquired immunological tolerance
1960Peter Brian Medawar RabbitDiscovery of acquired immunological tolerance
1957Daniel Bovet Dog, rabbitProduction of synthetic compounds and their action on the vascular system and skeletal muscles
1955Axel Hugo Theodor Theorell HorseNature and mode of action of oxidation enzymes
1954John Franklin Enders Monkey, mouseCulture of poliovirus that led to development of vaccine
1954Thomas Huckle Weller Monkey, mouseCulture of poliovirus that led to development of vaccine
1954Frederick Chapman RobbinsMonkey, mouseCulture of poliovirus that led to development of vaccine
1953Hans Adolf Krebs PigeonDiscovery of the citric acid cycle
1953Fritz Albert Lipmann PigeonDiscovery of co-enzyme A and its importance in intermediary metabolism
1952Selman Abraham Waksman Guinea pigDiscovery of streptomycin, the first effective antibiotic against tuberculosis
1951Max Theiler Monkey, mouseDevelopment of yellow fever vaccine
1950Edward Calvin Kendall CowAntiarthritic role of adrenal hormones
1950Tadeus Reichstein CowAntiarthritic role of adrenal hormones
1950Philip Showalter Hench CowAntiarthritic role of adrenal hormones
1949Walter Rudolf HessCatFunctional organization of the brain as a coordinator of internal organs
1949Antonio Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz CatDiscovery of the therapeutic value of leucotomy in certain psychoses
1947Carl Ferdinand CoriFrog, toad, dogCatalytic conversion glycogen
1947Gerty Theresa Cori, née RadnitzFrog, toad, dogCatalytic conversion glycogen
1947Bernardo Alberto Houssay Frog, toad, dogRole of pituitary in sugar metabolism
1945Sir Alexander Fleming MouseDiscovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases
1945Ernst Boris Chain MouseDiscovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases
1945Sir Howard Walter Florey MouseDiscovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases
1944Joseph Erlanger CatSpecific functions of nerve cells
1944Herbert Spencer Gasser CatSpecific functions of nerve cells
1943Henrik Carl Peter Dam Rat, dog, chick, mouseDiscovery of function of Vitamin K
1943Edward Adelbert Doisy Rat, dog, chick, mouseDiscovery of function of Vitamin K
1939Gerhard Domagk Mouse, rabbitAntibacterial effects of prontosil
1938Corneille Jean François HeymansDogRole of the sinus and aortic mechanisms in regulation of respiration
1936Sir Henry Hallett Dale Cat, frog, bird, reptileChemical transmission of nerve impulses
1936Otto Loewi Cat, frog, bird, reptileChemical transmission of nerve impulses
1935Hans SpemannNewt, frogOrganizer effect in embryonic development
1934George Hoyt Whipple DogLiver therapy for anemia
1934George Richards Minot DogLiver therapy for anemia
1934William Parry Murphy DogLiver therapy for anemia
1932Sir Charles Scott Sherrington Dog, catFunction of neurons
1932Edgar Douglas Adrian Dog, catFunction of neurons
1929Christiaan Eijkman ChickenDiscovery of antineuritic and growth stimulating vitamins
1929Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins ChickenDiscovery of antineuritic and growth stimulating vitamins
1928Charles Jules Henri Nicolle Monkey, guinea pig, rat, mousePathogenesis of typhus
1924Willem Einthoven DogMechanism of the electrocardiogram
1923Frederick Grant Banting Dog, rabbit, fishDiscovery of insulin and mechanism of diabetes
1923John James Richard Macleod Dog, rabbit, fishDiscovery of insulin and mechanism of diabetes
1922Archibald Vivian Hill FrogDiscovery relating to the production of heat in the muscle
1920Schack August Steenberg Krogh FrogDiscovery of capillary motor regulating mechanism
1919Jules Bordet Guinea pig, horse, rabbitMechanisms of immunity
1913Charles Robert Richet Dog, rabbitMechanisms of anaphylaxis
1912Alexis Carrel DogSurgical advances in the suture and grafting of blood vessels
1910Albrecht Kossel BirdKnowledge of cell chemistry through work on proteins, including nuclear substances
1908Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov Bird, fish, guinea pigImmune reactions and functions of phagocytes
1908Paul Ehrlich Bird, fish, guinea pigImmune reactions and functions of phagocytes
1907Charles Louis Alphonse LaveranBirdRole of protozoa as cause of disease
1906Camillo Golgi Dog, horseCharacterization of the central nervous system
1906Santiago Ramón y Cajal Dog, horseCharacterization of the central nervous system
1905Robert Koch Cow, sheepStudies of pathogenesis of tuberculosis
1904Ivan Petrovich Pavlov DogAnimal responses to various stimuli
1902Ronald Ross PigeonUnderstanding of malaria life cycle
1901Emil Adolf von Behring Guinea PigDevelopment of diphtheria antiserum

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