|Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn|
“The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- - -/ one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine ...”
Alfred Nobel had an active interest in medical research. Through Karolinska Institutet he came into contact with Swedish physiologist Jöns Johansson around 1890. Johansson worked in Nobel’s laboratory in Sevran, France for a time that year. Physiology or medicine was the third prize area Nobel mentioned in his will.
In 1901, Emil von Behring was awarded the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on serum therapy, particularly for its use in the treatment of diphtheria. The Medicine Prize has subsequently highlighted a number of important discoveries including penicillin, genetic engineering and blood-typing.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.