Hebrew University biochemists Professor Aharon Razin and Professor Haim (Howard) Cedar, who were favorites for the Nobel Prize for Medicine, were disappointed Monday when the list of winners did not include their names.
The winners are Americans James Rothman and Randy Schekman and German-born researcher Thomas Suedhof, who won the 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries on how proteins and other materials are transported within cells.
The Nobel committee said their research on "vesicle traffic" — the transport system of our cells — helped scientists understand how "cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time" inside cells.
"Disturbances in this system have deleterious effects and contribute to conditions such as neurological diseases, diabetes and immunological disorders," the committee said.
Rothman is a professor at Yale University while Schekman is at the University of California, Berkeley. Suedhof joined Stanford University in 2008.
The awards in physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics will be announced by other prize juries this week and next. Each prize is worth $1.2 million.
Before the announcements, Razin and Cedar were said to be favorites to win the fields of medicine or chemistry. The prize for chemistry will be announced Wednesday.