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The Rockefeller Christmas Lectures


The Nobel Prize is a lottery
Christian de Duve Scientist
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I think my... my co-worker Géry Hers should... could very well have deserved a prize for all his work on glycogen metabolism, fructose-2, 6-bisphosphate, and especially the lysosomal diseases. And so if they had made their choices differently in Stockholm – say, Palade and Claude and somebody else had shared, and then later they had given the prize for the lysosomes – Hers should have shared it with me, so it could have happened. So it's the luck of draw. The Lottery, as I said.

Belgian biochemist Christian de Duve (1917-2013) was best known for his work on understanding and categorising subcellular organelles. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974 for his joint discovery of lysosomes, the subcellular organelles that digest macromolecules and deal with ingested bacteria.

Listeners: Peter Newmark

Peter Newmark has recently retired as Editorial Director of BioMed Central Ltd, the Open Access journal publisher. He obtained a D. Phil. from Oxford University and was originally a research biochemist at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School in London, but left research to become Biology Editor and then Deputy Editor of the journal Nature. He then became Managing Director of Current Biology Ltd, where he started a series of Current Opinion journals, and was founding Editor of the journal Current Biology. Subsequently he was Editorial Director for Elsevier Science London, before joining BioMed Central Ltd.

Tags: Albert Claude, George Palade, Géry Hers

Duration: 43 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008