Latest information on COVID-19

Two scientists, two Nobel Prizes, one week

- By Susan Ipaktchian

L.A. Cicero/Stanford News Service Michael Levitt

Structural biologist Michael Levitt, left, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and neuroscientist Thomas Südhof won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

The calendar says we're nearing Halloween, but these days it feels a bit more like the Fourth of July at the School of Medicine.

The dazzling accomplishments of Thomas Südhof and Michael Levitt, who each won a 2013 Nobel Prize, are drawing the appreciative oohs and aahs of scientists around the world.

On Oct. 7, Südhof, MD, professor of molecular and cellular physiology, learned he was a co-recipient of the prize in physiology or medicine. A scant 48 hours later, Levitt, PhD, professor of structural biology, got a call informing him he would share the prize in chemistry.

"This has been a tremendous year for Stanford," said university President John Hennessy, PhD. "That two of our faculty in the School of Medicine were awarded Nobel Prizes this year is remarkable — an indication both of their pioneering achievements and the success of our medical school in creating an environment that fosters innovation. It also underscores the growing importance of working at the intersection of disciplines, a hallmark of Stanford's collaborative culture."

Norbert von der Groeben Levitt chats with Sudhof

Südhof and Levitt chat with each other during an Oct. 18 reception in the dean's courtyard.

Südhof and Levitt are now among six living laureates who earned their Nobels as members of the School of Medicine faculty. The other four are Paul Berg, PhD, professor emeritus of biochemistry (chemistry, 1980); Andrew Fire, PhD, professor of pathology and of genetics (physiology or medicine, 2006); Roger Kornberg, PhD, professor of structural biology (chemistry, 2006); and Brian Kobilka, MD, professor of molecular and cellular physiology, (chemistry, 2012).

"As the Nobel committees have recognized, Stanford Medicine faculty are leading the biomedical revolution, constantly opening new avenues to improve our understanding of human health and disease," said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. "And through clinical and translational research, the discoveries of our laureates and their many colleagues at Stanford are going on to transform care for our patients."

For more about this year's Nobel laureates, read on.

Coverage of Thomas Südhof:

Coverage of Michael Levitt:


Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and Stanford Children's Health. For more information, please visit the Office of Communications website at

2022 ISSUE 1

Understanding the world within us

COVID-19 Updates

Stanford Medicine is closely monitoring the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A dedicated page provides the latest information and developments related to the pandemic.