Rodbell, Martin

Rodbell, Martin, 1925–1998, American biochemist, b. Baltimore, Ph.D. Univ. of Washington, 1954. He was a researcher (1956–1985) at the National Heart Institute in Bethesda, Md., before becoming scientific director (1985–94) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Chapel Hill, N.C. Rodbell is credited with shedding light on cell communication by determining that the process requires discriminators to receive information from outside the cell, amplifiers to strengthen the signals and thereby initiate reactions within the cell, and transducers to provide a link between the two. Rodbell was co-winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Alfred G. Gilman, who identified the transducers as G-proteins, so-called because they react with guanosine triphosphate (GTP).

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