News24

UK Nobel winner 'immensely grateful'

2012-10-08 16:29

Stockholm - British scientist John Gurdon, awarded the Nobel Medicine Prize on Monday with Japan's Shinya Yamanaka for work in cell programming, said he was "immensely grateful and astonished".

"I'm amazed and immensely grateful and astonished that they should recognise work done such a long time ago," Gurdon told public broadcaster Swedish Radio in a telephone interview.

"Of course, I'm extremely grateful to be recognised with Shinya Yamanaka who's done this wonderful work," he added.

The broadcaster said Gurdon and Yamanaka were both in their respective laboratories when the prize was announced.

Surprised, enthusiastic

The laureates are traditionally contacted by the award committee just prior to the announcement, and Gurdon had gone into a lab meeting so as not to divulge any information beforehand, the radio said.

Yamanaka was quoted by Swedish Radio as being surprised and very enthusiastic over the prize.

The Royal Society, a fellowship for leading scientists from Britain and the Commonwealth, said Gurdon's work had "changed the way we understand how cells in the body become specialised, paving the way for important developments in the diagnosis and treatment of disease".

"It's very pleasing to see another of the Royal Society's Fellows being recognised in this very special way. My congratulations go out to both John and Shinya," said the society's president, Paul Nurse.