October 10, 2012 - By Philip Pizzo
(From left) Stanford President John Hennessy, Nobel winner Brian Kobilka and Dean Philip Pizzo appear at a press conference this morning.
"That Brian Kobilka, MD, is the 2012 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is a tribute to scientific elegance, excellence and endurance, conducted over decades with passion, dedication and commitment. He wins this extraordinary prize with Bob Lefkowitz, who was his mentor earlier in his career and who helped shape and launch his career in science.
"Trained as an MD, Brian became dedicated to solving deep and important mysteries that impact the work of hearts and minds. When others felt the problem he was attempting to solve was impossible to accomplish, Brian focused his energies and over the past decades he pursued understanding the adrenergic receptor, defining its 3-dimensional structure along with its function and physiological relevance. His work stands at the cross roads between chemistry, structural biology, molecular medicine and has been fostered in the setting of Stanford University that bridges these and other disciplines.
"Brian's commitment to staying focused on a problem of extraordinary complexity and to find the techniques and technologies to solve its structure and function, is also a testament to the value of investigator initiated basic science research. In a day when big teams and massive labs have become the common mediator of modern science, Brian Kobilka stands as a model of how a small group of committed scientists can illuminate deep mysteries and open doors to new solutions that will ultimately improve human life. His work is a testament to the importance of supporting basic science research — whose payoff can take many years or decades to reach fruition but, when it does, it changes the direction of medicine and science.
"And beyond all this, Brian Kolbilka is one of the most humble, caring and generous persons we are privileged to know and value in our community at Stanford, where he serves as the Helene Irwin Fagan Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology in the School of Medicine."
Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at http://mednews.stanford.edu.