Nobel laureate Stanley B. Prusiner
, American neurologist and biochemist, coined the word prion in 1982 to describe the noninfectious agents he proposed as the cause of scrapie.
Stanley B. Prusiner
earns the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his "pioneering discovery of an entirely new genre of disease-causing agents and the elucidation of the underlying principles of the mode of action." His work with prions showed that the proteins could cause several deadly brain diseases and dementia in humans and animals.
Even as scientist Stanley B. Prusiner
was accepting a Nobel prize in 1997 for linking misfolded proteins to certain brain diseases, doubters were pointing out that no one had ever actually shown that these proteins--which Prusiner dubbed prions--could cause infection.
A report in the Spring 2000 Mayo Alumni, "A scientific odyssey--of sheep, 'mad' cows and a tiny protein," describes the fascinating work of Stanley B. Prusiner
, MD, Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, and Professor of Virology in Residence at the University of California, Berkeley.
Earlier last year the Nobel prize for medicine went to University of California neurologist and biochemist Stanley B. Prusiner
for his work on the prion, a term he coined in 1982 for proteinaceous infectious particle, the first proposed infectious agent containing neither DNA nor RNA.
The researchers include Stanley B. Prusiner
, who won a Nobel prize for his pioneering work on prions (SN: 10/11/97, p.
* Stanley B. Prusiner
won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his controversial theory of prions, malformed proteins implicated in neurological disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and mad cow disease (152: 229).
The 1997 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine goes to Stanley B. Prusiner
, a neurologist and biochemist at the University of California, San Francisco who pioneered controversial work on prions--malformed proteins widely believed to cause mad cow disease and other deadly neurological illnesses in humans and animals.
Then in 1982, Stanley B. Prusiner
of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine launched a bombshell: He suggested that the infectious agent was a type of protein, which he called a prion.
When Stanley B. Prusiner
coined the word "prion" for a new kind of infectious agent (SN: 12/5/81, p.359; 2/27/82, p.135), he unwittingly borrowed a term from ornithology.