List of Nobel laureates affiliated with Cornell University

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Over fifty Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Cornell University. The building pictured is Goldwin Smith Hall.

The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Karolinska Institute, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine.[1] They were established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which dictates that the awards should be administered by the Nobel Foundation. Another prize, the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, for contributors to the field of economics.[2] Each prize is awarded by a separate committee; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Economics, the Karolinska Institute awards the Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the Prize in Peace.[3] Each recipient receives a medal, a diploma and a cash prize that has varied throughout the years.[2] In 1901, the winners of the first Nobel Prizes were given 150,782 SEK, which is equal to 7,731,004 SEK in December 2007. In 2008, the winners were awarded a prize amount of 10,000,000 SEK.[4] The awards are presented in Stockholm in an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.[5]

As of October 2018, there have been 58 Nobel laureates affiliated with Cornell University, including 18 Cornell alumni (laureates who attended the university as undergraduate, graduate student or researcher) and 44 members of the faculty or visiting faculty (four being alumni).[6] The Nobel Prize categories of Physics and Physiology or Medicine account for twenty and thirteen awards to Cornell-affiliated laureates, respectively. People affiliated with Cornell also have received fourteen Nobel Prize awards for Chemistry, four for Literature, four for Economics, and two Nobel Peace Prizes.[6]

Laureates[edit]

Year Image Laureate Relation Category Rationale
1936 Debye100.jpg Peter Debye Professor of Chemistry, 1940-1952 Chemistry "for his contributions to the study of molecular structure," primarily referring to his work on dipole moments and X-ray diffraction
1937 George Paget Thomson.jpg George Paget Thomson Non–Resident Lecturer, 1929-1930 Physics "for their experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals"
1938 Pearl Buck.jpg Pearl S. Buck M.A., 1925 Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces"[7]
1944 Herbert Spencer Gasser nobel.jpg Herbert Spencer Gasser Cornell Medical College faculty 1931–1934 Physiology or Medicine
1944 Otto Hahn 1970.jpg Otto Hahn George Fisher Baker Non-Resident Lecturer in Chemistry 1933[8] Chemistry "for his discovery of the fission of heavy atomic nuclei."
1944 Isidor Isaac Rabi.jpg Isidor Isaac Rabi B.Chem. 1919

Graduate study 1921-23 (transferred)

Physics "for his resonance method for recording the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei"[9]
1946 John Raleigh Mott, 1910.jpg John Mott

Co-recipient with Emily Greene Balch

B.S. 1888 - Philosophy Peace "Chairman, International Missionary Council; President, World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations"[10]
1946 Hermann Joseph Muller.jpg Hermann Joseph Muller Cornell graduate student 1911–1912 Physiology or Medicine
1946 James Batcheller Sumner.jpg James B. Sumner Professor of Biochemistry/Nutrition 1929–1955; took emeritus status in 1955 Chemistry
1953 Portrait of Fritz Albert Lipmann (1899-1986), Biochemist (2551001689).jpg Fritz Albert Lipmann Research Associate, Cornell Medical College 1939–1941 Physiology or Medicine "for his discovery of co-enzyme A and its importance for intermediary metabolism"
1954 L Pauling.jpg Linus Pauling[11][12] George Fisher Baker Non-Resident Lecturer in Chemistry 1937–1938
Messenger Lecturer 1959
Chemistry "for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances"
1955 Vincent du Vigneaud.jpg Vincent du Vigneaud Professor, Cornell Medical College 1938–1967
Professor Emeritus, Ithaca campus 1967–1974
Chemistry "for his work on biochemically important sulphur compounds, especially for the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone"
1958 George Wells Beadle.jpg George Wells Beadle

Co-recipient with Edward Tatum and Joshua Lederberg

Ph.D., 1931 Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events"[13]
1960 Peter Brian Medawar.jpg Peter Medawar Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large Physiology or Medicine
1962 L Pauling.jpg Linus Pauling[11][12] George Fischer Baker Non-Resident Lecturer in Chemistry 1937–1938
Messenger Lecturer 1959
Peace
1965 Richard Feynman ID badge.png Richard Feynman Professor of Physics, 1945-1950 Physics "their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles"
1967 Hans Bethe.jpg Hans Bethe Professor of Physics, 1935-2005 Physics "for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars"[14]
1967 Eigen,Manfred 1996 Göttingen.jpg Manfred Eigen A.D. White Professor-at-Large Chemistry
1967 HKHartline.png Haldan Keffer Hartline Associate Professor of Physiology, Cornell Medical College 1940–1941 Physiology or Medicine
1968 Robert Holley-crop.jpg Robert W. Holley

Co-recipient with H. Gobind Khorana and Marshall W. Nirenberg

Ph.D., 1946
Professor of Organic Chemistry, 1948-1966
Physiology or Medicine "for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis"[15]
1968 Har Gobind Khorana nobel.jpg Har Gobind Khorana A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1974–1980 Physiology or Medicine
1970 YoungAlfven.jpg Hannes Alfvén Distinguished Professor in Engineering Physics "for fundamental work and discoveries in magnetohydro-dynamics with fruitful applications in different parts of plasma physics"[16]
1970 Norman Borlaug.jpg Norman Borlaug A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1982–1988 Peace
1971 Herzberg,Gerhard 1952 London.jpg Gerhard Herzberg[17][18][19] George Fisher Baker Non-Resident Lecturer in Chemistry 1968 Chemistry "for his contributions to the knowledge of electronic structure and geometry of molecules, particularly free radicals"
1972 John Robert Schrieffer.jpg John Robert Schrieffer A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1969–1975 Physics "for [his] jointly developed theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCS-theory".[20]
1973 Brian Josephson, March 2004.jpg Brian David Josephson

Co-recipient with Leo Esaki and Ivar Giaever

NSF Fellow, 1971–1972[21] Physics "for their experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in semiconductors and superconductors, respectively" and the other half to Brian David Josephson "for his theoretical predictions of the properties of a supercurrent through a tunnel barrier, in particular those phenomena which are generally known as the Josephson effects"[22]
1974 Paul Flory Chemistry faculty, 1948–1957 Chemistry "for his fundamental achievements, both theoretical and experimental, in the physical chemistry of the macromolecules"[23]
1979 Sheldon Glashow at Harvard.jpg Sheldon Glashow

Co-recipient with Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg

B.A., 1954 Physics "for their contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current"[24]
1979 Steven-weinberg.jpg Steven Weinberg

Co-recipient with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow

B.A. 1954 Physics "for their contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current"[24]
1981 Roald Hoffmann.jpg Roald Hoffmann

Co-recipient with Kenichi Fukui

Professor of Chemistry, 1965–Present Chemistry "for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions"[25]
1982 Kenneth G. Wilson Professor of Physics, 1963-1988 Physics "for his theory for critical phenomena in connection with phase transitions"[26]
1983 Barbara McClintock (1902-1992) shown in her laboratory in 1947.jpg Barbara McClintock B.S., 1923
M.A., 1925
Ph.D., 1927
Instructor in botany, 1927-1931
Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large, 1965-1974
Physiology or Medicine "for her discovery of mobile genetic elements"[27]
1983 HD.3F.005 (11086397086) (cropped).jpg Henry Taube Assistant Professor of Chemistry, 1944–1946 Chemistry for "his work in the mechanisms of electron-transfer reactions, especially in metal complexes."[28]
1986 Soyinka, Wole (1934).jpg Wole Soyinka Senior Fellow, Society for the Humanities, 1985
Goldwin Smith professor for African Studies and Theatre Arts, 1988-1991[29][30]
Literature "who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence"[31]
1989 HEVarmus.jpg Harold Varmus Professor of Medicine, 2015-Present Medicine & Physiology "for [his] discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes"
1990 Paz0.jpg Octavio Paz A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1972-1974 Literature "for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity"[32]
1991 Pierre-Gilles Rice University.jpg Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Served on the Cornell faculty as A.D. White Professor-at-Large 1977–1983 and Bethe Lecturer in Physics 1989–1990 Physics "for discovering that methods developed for studying order phenomena in simple systems can be generalized to more complex forms of matter, in particular to liquid crystals and polymers"[33]
1991 Richard R Ernst.jpg Richard R. Ernst A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1998 Chemistry "for his contributions to the development of the methodology of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy"[34]
1993 Toni Morrison 2008-2.jpg Toni Morrison M.A. 1955 - English

A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1997-2003

Literature "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality"[35]
1993 Russell Alan Hulse.jpg Russell Alan Hulse

Co-recipient with Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr.

Scholar at Arecibo Observatory of Cornell University in Puerto Rico 1974[36] Physics "for the discovery of a new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation"[37]
1993 Robert William Fogel.jpg Robert Fogel B.A., 1948 Economics "for having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain economic and institutional change"[38]
1996 Nobel Laureate David Morris Lee in 2007.jpg David Morris Lee

Co-recipient with Douglas D. Osheroff and Robert C. Richardson

Professor of Physics, 1959–2009 Physics "for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3"[39]
1996 Douglas Osheroff.jpg Douglas D. Osheroff

Co-recipient with David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson

M.S. 1971 - Physics

Ph.D. 1973 - Physics

Physics "for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3"[39]
1996 Robert Coleman Richardson.jpg Robert Coleman Richardson

Co-recipient with Douglas D. Osheroff and David M. Lee

Research Associate, 1966–1967

Professor of Physics, 1968–2013

Physics "for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3"[39]
1998 Drfurchgott.jpg Robert F. Furchgott Research Associate (Medicine)/Instructor (Physiology and Biophysics/Assistant Professor Medicine), 1941–1949 Physiology or Medicine "for [his] discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system"[40]
1998 Amartya Sen 20071128 cologne.jpg Amartya Sen A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1978–1984 Economics "for his contributions to welfare economics"[41]
2000 Paul Greengard.jpg Paul Greengard A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1981–1987 Physiology or Medicine "for [his] discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system"[42]
2002 Nobel Laureate Sir Anthony James Leggett in 2007.jpg Anthony James Leggett Visiting Professor, 04/1973, 07/1974
Bethe Lecturer, 04/1980
Visiting Scientist, 01/1983–08/1983[43]
Physics "for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids"
2003 Robert F. Engle.jpg Robert F. Engle M.S., 1966,

Ph.D., 1969

Economics "for methods of analyzing economic time series with time-varying volatility (ARCH)"[44]
2009 JSzostak.jpg Jack W. Szostak

Co-recipient with Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider

Ph.D. 1977 - Biochemistry Physiology or Medicine "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase"[45]
2013 Francois Englert.jpg François Englert

Co-recipient with Peter Higgs

Research associate and assistant professor 1959-1961 Physics "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle"[46]
2014 Eric Betzig (cropped).jpg Eric Betzig M.S. 1985, Ph.D. 1988 - Applied and Engineering Physics Chemistry "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy"[47]
2014 WE Moerner.jpg William E. Moerner M.S. 1978, Ph.D. 1982 - Physics Chemistry "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy"[48]
2016 DavidThouless 1995 UW.jpg David J. Thouless

Co-recipient with Duncan Haldane and John M. Kosterlitz

Ph.D. 1958 Physics "for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter"[49]
2016 Jkosterl.jpg John M. Kosterlitz

Co-recipient with Duncan Haldane and David J. Thouless

Postdoctoral researcher 1973-1974 Physics "for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter"[50]
2017 Kip Thorne at Caltech.jpg Kip Stephen Thorne

Co-recipient with Rainer Weiss and Barry C. Barish

A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1986–1992
Visiting Senior Research Associate, 01/1977 – 06/1977
Hans Bethe Lecturer 1986
Yervant Terzian Memorial Lecture, 2016[51]
Physics "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves"[52][53]
2017 Joachim Frank EM1B8792 (27115577469).jpg Joachim Frank

Co-recipient with Jacques Dubochet and Richard Henderson

Postdoctoral researcher 1972[54][55][56] Chemistry "for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution"[57]
2017 Richard Thaler Chatham.jpg Richard Thaler Professor of Economics and the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, 1978–1995[58][59][60][61] Economics "for his contributions to behavioural economics"[62]
2018 James P. Allison (2015).JPG James P. Allison Professor of Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, 2004–2012 Physiology or Medicine "for discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation"
2018 Arthur Ashkin Ph.D. 1952 [63] Physics "for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics" “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems”[64][65]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]