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Günter Blobel

Günter Blobel at MPI-CBG symposium, November 2008
Born 21 May 1936 (1936-05-21) (age 73)
Waltersdorf (today: Niegosławice)
Residence Manhattan
Ethnicity German American
Fields biologist
Institutions Rockefeller University
Academic advisors George Palade
Doctoral students Anton Titov, Monique Floer, Peter Walter, Johanna Napetschnig, Kuo-Chiang Hsia, Vivien Nacky, Martin Kampmann
Other notable students David J. Anderson
Known for protein targeting
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1999)

Günter Blobel (born May 21, 1936) is a German American biologist.



Blobel was born in Waltersdorf in the Prussian Province of Lower Silesia. In January 1945 his family fled from native Silesia from the advancing Red Army. On their way to the West they passed through the beautiful old city of Dresden, which left deep impressions in the young boy. Only days after their stay Dresden was destroyed in the catastrophic air bombing between 13 February and 15 February 1945. The family could witness this event some 30 kilometers away and the young boy again was deeply impressed by the red night sky reflecting the firestorm in the burning city. But war was still not at its end and Blobel's 19-year-old sister was some weeks later killed in an air attack on a train she was travelling in and buried in a mass grave.

After the war Günter Blobel grew up and attended gymnasium in the Saxon town of Freiberg. He graduated at the University of Tübingen in 1960 and received his Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1967. He was appointed to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1986.

Blobel was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of protein targeting, a mechanism in living cells to direct newly synthesized protein molecules to their proper location by means of "address tags" (signal peptides) attached to the molecules.

Blobel is also well-known for his direct and active support for the rebuilding of Dresden in Germany, becoming, in 1994, the founder and president of the nonprofit "Friends of Dresden, Inc." He donated all of the Nobel award money to the restoration of Dresden, in particular for the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche (completed in 2005) and the building of a new synagogue.

As of 2003, Blobel works at the Rockefeller University in New York City. Blobel lives in Manhattan's Upper East Side with his wife and three English setters. He is also on the board of directors for Nestlé and the Board of Scientific Governors at The Scripps Research Institute. Furthermore, Gunter is also Co-Founder and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for Chromocell Corporation.[1]

In June 2008, Blobel lectured for the attendants of the 15th International Student Congress of Medical Sciences in the University Medical Center Groningen.

Scientific awards


"You are one, they are many. If you don't work hard night and day, they will crush you like a roach"

See also


  1. ^

External links



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