St. Paul native wins Nobel Prize for medicine


A St. Paul native has been awarded the world's top prize in medicine.

Randy Schekman, along with American James Rothman, and Germany's Thomas Suedhof, won the 2013 Nobel prize for medicine or physiology for their research into how cells organize their transport system, Reuters reports.

Schekman, 64, a University of California, Berkley, professor, was born 1948 in St. Paul and studied at the University of California in Los Angeles and at Stanford University, where he earned a PhD in 1974, the Nobel Prize website notes.

The chairman of the prize committee awoke Schekman at 1 a.m. in his California home, where he was still suffering from jetlag from a trip to Germany, he told the Associated Press.

"I wasn't thinking too straight. I didn't have anything elegant to say," he told the AP. "All I could say was 'Oh my God,' and that was that."

A Berkeley press release says Schekman said, “My first reaction was, “Oh, my god! That was also my second reaction.”

The three researchers were honored for their discoveries about how hormones, enzymes and other substances are transported within cells, the AP notes. The transport amounts to a traffic control system that gives researchers insight into a variety of diseases and immune system ailments, the Nobel committee said.

"The three Nobel Laureates have discovered the molecular principles that govern how this cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time in the cell," the Nobel committee said.

In the future, the research could lead to medicines for the fight against some types of epilepsy, diabetes and other metabolism problems, Nobel committee secretary Goran Hansson told the AP.

Berkeley's website says Schekman's research "led directly to the success of the biotechnology industry, which was able to coax yeast to secrete useful protein drugs, such as insulin and human growth factor, using Schekman’s discoveries."

There's more on Schekman and his research here.

Medicine is the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year, followed this week and next by prize announcements for physics, chemistry, literature, economics and peace, Reuters notes. The awards were established in 1901 in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.

Next Up


Hennepin Theatre Trust announces 2021-22 Broadway schedule

Health and safety protocols will be in place based on state guidance.

Tim Walz

Walz to hold press conference on MN State Capitol safety concerns

This comes amid ongoing threats to state Capitols across the country.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Brooklyn Park standoff: Suspect kills himself, child taken hostage is safe

The standoff ended Thursday night when the suspect shot himself.

police tape, crime scene

Man dies in alley after report of shooting in Minneapolis

Police were sent to the scene by ShotSpotter activation.


COVID-19 shines a light on the struggles facing Minnesota's working mothers

Daycare and school closures have put working families under pressure, with mothers bearing the brunt.

Prada Purse2

Border patrol in Minneapolis intercepts shipment of 173 counterfeit designer bags

If they were authentic, they would have been worth about $405,975.

Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis councilors propose replacing police department, rent stabilization

Council members are also proposing two charter amendments to help renters in Minneapolis.

Vaccine COVID

MDH expands COVID guidance, urges providers to vaccinate the 65+

More vaccine guidance will be provided in the coming days.

Tom Brady

Coller: Which remaining teams should the Vikings emulate?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 3.33.57 PM

Serious crime was up 15% in St. Paul in 2020

“This was an incredibly hard year for all of us,” Police Chief Todd Axtell said, citing riots and the pandemic.


Nobel chemistry prize winner has Minnesota roots

University of Minnesota-Duluth graduate Brian Kobilka and another scientist won the 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for research into protein receptors, studies that are important in the quest for better drugs, the Associated Press reports. He grew up in the Little Falls, Minn., area.

Former U of M educators win Nobel Prize in economics

Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims were selected for their research into why economies respond the way they do to intervention by central banks or other government authorities.