People in Science

Honoring the 2014 Nobel laureates with free access to selections of their research

The science laureates have all published with Elsevier; download some of their high-impact papers

Print Friendly and PDF
Share story:  

® © The Nobel FoundationThe winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Economics have made pioneering contributions to science and medicine that have impacted our world and laid the groundwork for advancement in generations to come. We are honored to work with these extraordinary scientists, who have published their research in our journals and books or served as editors, editorial board members or reviewers.

To further illuminate their discoveries, we have made a collection of their work published with Elsevier freely available.

"For those of us dedicated to science, waiting for the Nobel Prize announcements is a time of great anticipation," said Dr. Philippe Terheggen, Managing Director of Journals for Elsevier. "Though scientists may be widely recognized for addressing the challenges of the 21st century, they are rarely celebrated with the credit and recognition they deserve. Turning the world's attention to the contributions of the Nobel Laureates calls for a grand toast. I personally feel honored that we have the opportunity to work with such great scholars in the publication and dissemination of their groundbreaking research."


Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology

Edvard Moser, PhDMay-Britt Moser, PhDDr. John O'Keefe, Dr. May-Britt Moser and Dr. John O'Keefe, PhDEdvard Moser were jointly awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain."

Their discoveries demonstrated a cellular basis for high cognitive function. Through their research, all three contributed to revealing the existence of nerve cells in the brain that enable us to navigate through our surroundings – getting lost but just as easily finding our way back again.

In 1971, Dr. O'Keefe sparked the research stream with the identification of so-called "place cells" that were activated when a rat was in a certain place in a room. More than 30 years later, Drs. May-Britt and Edvard Moser, who are married, discovered the "grid cells" that generate a coordinate system for precise positioning and path-finding. Between the three they discovered our "inner GPS."

The Nobel Assembly said their discoveries "have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries – how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment? The discovery of the brain's positioning system represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of how ensembles of specialized cells work together to execute higher cognitive functions. It has opened new avenues for understanding other cognitive processes, such as memory, thinking and planning."

About John O'Keefe

John O'Keefe is a US-British neuroscientist and a professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and the Department of Anatomy, University College London. He was born in New York to Irish immigrant parents on November 18, 1939. In his role as author and reviewer, Dr. O'Keefe actively contributed to the journals Neuronand Trends in Cognitive Sciences; his first papers on place cells were published in Brain Research and Experimental Neurology.

About May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser

May-Britt Moser, born January 4, 1963, is a Norwegian psychologist, neuroscientist, and founding director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for the Biology of Memory at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. As an author and reviewer she has actively contributed to Elsevier journals Cell, Neuron, Current Biology, Trends in Cognitive Sciences .

Edvard Moser, born April 27, 1962, is also Norwegian and also psychologist-neurologist. He is institute director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for Neural Computation at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. Currently based at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology near Munich, Germany, Edvard Moser served as editorial board member for Neuron and active author for journals Cell, Current Biology, Trends in Neuroscience .

Read a selection of their research papers.


Nobel Prize in Physics

Shuji Nakamura, PhD Hiroshi Amano, PhD Isamu Akasaki, PhDDr. Isamu Akasaki, Dr. Hiroshi Amano and Dr. Shuji Nakamura were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics "for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources."

Although red and green LEDs have been around since the 1960s, it wasn't until the early 1990s that Professors Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura invented blue LEDs. With their discovery, the three LEDs —green, red and blue — could now be mixed to produce white light, which uses much less energy than both incandescent and fluorescent lamps. Blue LEDS had, until then, been the missing piece of the puzzle.

Since their discovery the technological advances made possible through LED lighting have grown exponentially. LEDs not only provided the lighting industry with unheard of efficiency, robustness and longevity, enhancing the glowing screens of smarty phones, TVs and computers, but are now be used in other areas including, for example, in reading and writing, Blu-Ray data and in water sterilization.

[pullquote align="right"]20 percent of the world's electricity is used for lighting. It's been calculated that optimal use of LED lighting could reduce this to 4 percent -- Dr. Frances Saunders, President, Britain's Institute of Physics[/pullquote]

Aside from the technological advances made possible, with their invention Drs. Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura also paved the road to a more sustainable energy-saving world and the possibility to enrich the quality of life for people in developing nations.

"The LED lamp holds great promise for increasing the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids; due to low power requirements it can be powered by cheap local solar power," stated The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in its press release.

About Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura

Isamu Akasaki was born January 30, 1929, in Chiran, Japan, and is affiliated with Meijo University and Nagoya University. In the physics discipline, he specializes in semiconductor technology.

Hirosho Amano was born September 11, 1960, in Hamamatsu, Japan. He joined Akasaki's research group in 1982 as an undergraduate student at Nagoya University in Japan.

Shuji Nakamura was born May 22, 1954, in Ikata, Japan. He is a Japanese-American professor of materials and electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is also co-director of the campus's Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center.

All three physicists have actively contributed to Elsevier journals in their roles as authors and reviewers. Journal titles include: Journal of Crystal Growth, Journal of Luminescence , Materials Science & Engineering B, Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing, Optical Materials, Physica B: Condensed Matter, Superlattices and Microstructures, Thin Solid Films.

Book titles include: Optoelectronic Devices, Semiconductors and Semimetals Series, Wide-Band-Gap Semiconductors, Semiconductor Lasers: Fundamentals and Application, Handbook of Thin Film Devices.

Dr. Amano was also a member of the editorial board of the journal Superlattices and Microstructures from 2004 to 2007.

Read a selection of their research papers.


Nobel Prize in Chemistry

William Moerner, PhDStefan Hell, PhDEric Betzig, PhDDr. Eric Betzig, Dr. Stefan Hell and Dr. William Moerner were jointly awarded the Chemistry prize "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy."

These scientists overcame what had always been regarded as a fundamental barrier to the resolution of optical microscopes. The barrier had been set by Ernst Abbe in 1873 showing that optical microscopes could never see features smaller than roughly the size of the smallest bacteria. Up until the year 2000, any microscopy beyond this resolution was unthinkable.

In 2000, it was Stefan Hell who first broke this barrier with the help of a technique called fluorescence – lighting up of molecules through pulses of energy delivered by lasers. Professors Betzig and Moerner soon followed using a varying form of fluorescence: instead of using lasers they were able to tag biological cells with a fluorescent protein.

What was key about their groundbreaking discovery was that, not only did they break the Abbe barrier, which had been in place for almost a century, it turned microscopy into nanoscopy, enabling scientists to study cellular processes within molecules at the scale of billionths of a meter. More than just studying organisms in their forms and shapes, scientists could understand much more clearly what was happening in important biological processes.

The Nobel jury said: "Their groundbreaking work has brought optical microscopy into the nano-dimension. Today, nanoscopy is used worldwide, and new knowledge of the greatest benefit to mankind is produced on a daily basis."

About Eric Betzig

Eric Betzig was born on January 13, 1960, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received his PhD in 1988 at Cornell University. He is currently Group Leader at Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in Virginia. Dr. Betzig actively contributed as author to Elsevier journals Cell, Biophysical Journal , Current Biology, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, Neuron, Thin Solid Films.

About Stefan Hell

Stefan Hell is a German citizen originating from Romania, where he was born on December 23, 1962, moving to Germany in 1978. He received his PhD in 1990 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Currently he is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, and division head at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg. Throughout his career as a physicist, Dr. Hell has been an active Elsevier author and reviewer for Neuron, Trends in Cell Biology, Biophysical Journal and Chemical Physics Letters.

About William Moerner

William E. Moerner was born on 1953 in Pleasanton, California. He received his PhD in 1982 at Cornell University. Currently he is Harry S. Mosher Professor in Chemistry and Professor, by courtesy, of Applied Physics at Stanford University. Dr. Moerner has published in and served as reviewer for Elsevier journals Cell, Biophysical Journal, Chemical Physics and Chemical Physics Letters. For the latter two journals, he contributed additionally as an advisory editorial board member.

Read a selection of their research.

[divider]

Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

Jean Tirole, PhDThe Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded to Dr. Jean Tirole "for his analysis of market power and regulation."

Announcing the winner, Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said: "This year's prize in economic sciences is about taming powerful firms."

Since the 1980s, Tirole's research has focused on restricting – or checking – the behavior of large companies in relation to market power — its relevance being confirmed when the financial crisis hit the world six years ago.

In his research, Dr. Tirole provides dense mathematical models that describe and analyze markets. His models incorporate strategic behavior and information economics that help us understand the interaction between firms and how governments can design optimal regulatory policies. Specialists in regulatory economics previously looked for ways to design policies that governments could adopt across all industries; what made Dr. Tirole's groundbreaking was that one model does not fit all industries.

About Jean Tirole

As a professor of economics, Dr. Tirole specializes in industrial organizationgame theory, banking and finance and psychology. He was born on August 9, 1953 in Troyes, France. In 1981, he received his PhD in economics from MIT. Currently, he is chairman of the board of the Jean-Jacques Laffont Foundation at the Toulouse School of Economics, a founding member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST) and scientific director for the Industrial Economics Institute (IDEI) in Toulouse.

As an author, Dr. Tirole has contributed to Elsevier journals and books, including the Journal of Public Economic, International Journal of Industrial Organization, European Economic Review, Journal of Economic Theory, Japan and the World Economy, Handbook of Industrial Organization, Contributions to Economic Analysis.

Read a selection of his research.[divider]

Much of the information in this report came from the Nobel Prize website. [divider]

Research by Nobel Laureates in Medicine

Key articles by John O'Keefe in Elsevier publications

Key articles and book chapters by May-Britt and Edvard Moser in Elsevier publications


Research by Nobel Laureates in Physics

Key articles by Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano in Elsevier publications

Key articles by Shuji Nakamurain Elsevier publications


Research by Nobel Laureates in Chemistry

Key articles by Eric Betzig in Elsevier publications

Key articles by Stefan Hell in Elsevier publications

Key articles by William Moerner in Elsevier publications


Research by the Nobel Laureate in Economics

Key articles by Jean Tirole in Elsevier publications


Elsevier Connect Contributors

Sacha BoucherieElsevier Press Officer Sacha Boucherie works closely with Elsevier's journal publishers, editors and authors at one end and with science journalists and reporters at the other end with the aim of spotlighting and promoting interesting, topical research articles. She is based in Elsevier's Amsterdam headquarters and holds a master's degree in social psychology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

The following Elsevier colleagues also contributed to this report: Dr. Philippe Terheggen (Amsterdam), Dr. Inez van Korlaar (Amsterdam), Mary Beth O'Leary (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Michelle McMahon (Waltham, Massachusetts), Chris Capot (New York), Marieke Gutschner (Amstedam), Darren Sugrue (Amsterdam), Lucía Muñoz Vázquez (Amsterdam) and Nilesh Shah (Chennai).

comments powered by Disqus

Share story:  


Related Stories