Rothman, James Edward

Rothman, James Edward, 1950–, American cell physiologist, b. Haverhill, Mass., Ph.D. Harvard, 1976. Rothman was a professor at Stanford from 1978 to 1988 and at Princeton from 1988 to 1991. He taught at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 1991 to 2004 and then at Columbia until 2008, when he joined the faculty at Yale. Rothman was the recipient, jointly with Randy Schekman and Thomas Südhof, of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in the cells of the body. Rothman elucidated protein mechanisms that allow vesicles to fuse with their targets—in a manner similar to the two sides of a zipper—so that hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, and other cargo can be transferred correctly. Faulty vesicle transport contributes to diabetes as well as to a number of neurological and immunological disorders.

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