Günter Blobel, MD, PhD, a Nobel Laureate and a Fellow of the AACR Academy, died February 18, 2018, at the age of 81.
Blobel was born in Waltersdorf, Germany (now part of Poland), in 1936. In early 1945, his family fled the advancing Russian army and went to live with relatives near Dresden, Germany, where he witnessed the bombing of the city during World War II. In later years, aside from his scientific work, Blobel was well known for supporting the rebuilding of Dresden. He donated his Nobel Prize winnings to efforts to rebuild Dresden and important German cultural sites.
Blobel received his MD from the University of Tübingen in 1960 and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1967. He was a postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University for two years before becoming a member of the faculty. Blobel was the John D. Rockefeller Jr. professor and had been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 1986.
In 1999, Blobel was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery that proteins have signals that govern their movement and position in the cell. His work is considered key to uniting the fields of molecular biology and cell biology.
Dr. Blobel was inducted as a Fellow of the AACR Academy in 2014. He received numerous other scientific awards, including the E. B. Wilson Medal from the American Society for Cell Biology, the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, and the New York City Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Science and Technology.