A Briton has been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work developing antibodies that combat autoimmune diseases and can even cure cancer.
Sir Gregory Winter, from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, was one of three scientists to receive the award. He jointly received half the $1m prize with University of Missouri researcher George Smith, while the other half was awarded to Frances Arnold from the California Institute of Technology.
Research by Smith and Winter led to the development of Humira, a medication used for rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases. It is one of the best-selling drugs worldwide. Their methods have also produced antibodies to counteract autoimmune diseases and metastatic cancer.
Arnold, who is the fifth woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, was recognised for her work developing enzymes that contribute to more environmentally friendly pharmaceuticals and renewable fuels.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement: “This year’s Nobel Laureates in Chemistry have been inspired by the power of evolution and used the same principles – genetic change and selection – to develop proteins that solve mankind’s chemical problems.”
Alfred Nobel left the majority of his fortune to be “distributed annually in the form of prizes to those who during the preceding year have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.” The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was first awarded in 1901.