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Press Statement 17-005

Statement on the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2017

Three NSF-affiliated scientists named as laureates

Illustrations of Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young. Copyright Nobel Media. Ill. N. Elmehed

Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young.

October 2, 2017

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The Nobel Assembly has awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael Rosbash of Brandeis University and Michael W. Young of Rockefeller University in New York for "their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm." The National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided support to the research of these three researchers, including grants from the Office of International Science and Engineering for Hall and Robash and funding from the Biological Sciences Directorate for Robash. Young served as head of the Rockefeller University unit of the Science and Technology Center for Biological Timing, funded by NSF's Office of Integrative Activities.

NSF Director France Córdova issued the following statement on the Nobel announcement.

By building a body of research over decades using a model organism -- fruit flies -- these three researchers have given us a clearer understanding about human physiology. The findings of Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young have significant implications for health and wellness, and connect with our daily lives every time we go to sleep or wake up. Their discoveries shed light on a fundamental physiological mechanism, helping to advance and accelerate the field of circadian biology, which continues to produce new breakthroughs. NSF is proud to be associated with the work of these Nobel laureates. It demonstrates yet again that investing in basic research in the life processes of a wide variety of organisms and incorporating knowledge and techniques from across scientific disciplines yields results that benefit society.


Media Contacts
Robert J. Margetta, NSF, (703) 292-2663, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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