Home / News / World /  Svante Pääbo wins 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discoveries on human evolution

Svante Pääbo is the winner of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution." The decision was announced by the award-giving body on Monday at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

The medicine prize kicks off a week of Nobel Prize announcements. It continues Tuesday with the physics prize, with chemistry on Wednesday and literature on Thursday. The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday and the economics award on 10 October.

The prizes carry a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $900,000) and will be handed out on 10 December. The money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.

The prize is arguably among the most prestigious in the scientific world. It is awarded by the Nobel Assembly of Sweden's Karolinska Institute.

It is the first of this year's batch of prizes.

Created in the will of Swedish dynamite inventor and wealthy businessman Alfred Nobel, the prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace have been awarded since 1901, though the economics prize is a later addition.

The coronavirus pandemic has placed medical research centre stage with many expecting that the development of the vaccines that have allowed the world to regain some sense of normality may eventually be rewarded.

Still, it typically takes many years for any given research to be honoured, with the committees charged with picking the winners looking to determine its full value with some certainty amongst what is always a packed field of contenders.

This year's festivities should in any case mark the return of the Nobel banquet in Stockholm after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, an event redolent of old-world pomp and glamour after years of social distancing.

Last year's medicine prize went to Americans David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for the discovery of receptors in the human skin that sense temperature and touch, converting the physical impact into nerve impulses.

Past winners in the field include a string of famous researchers, notably Alexander Fleming, who shared the 1945 prize for the discovery of penicillin, and Robert Koch, who won already in 1905 for his investigations of tuberculosis. ($1 = 11.1067 Swedish crowns)

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