A Stanford University professor was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry Wednesday.
Dr. Brian Kobilka, professor and chair of molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford's School of Medicine, was given the award for his work on G-protein-coupled receptors, which are linked to the body's "fight or flight" responses, officials at Stanford said.
According to Stanford University, the work is helping scientists to better understand the complex signals transmitted by cells.
Kobilka has been working on the research since the early 1980s.
"Because these receptors regulate so many functions in the body, they're very important targets for a number of different kinds of drugs for a broad spectrum of diseases including different neuropsychiatric disorders, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders," Kobilka said in a phone interview with NBC Bay Area. "Even potentially they could be important in cancer therapies as well."
Kobulka said he felt,"very happy and very grateful" and that the news of his award "took a while to sink in."
Kobilka, 69, shares the award with 59-year-old Duke University professor Dr. Robert Lefkowitz. Lefkowitz is a professor of biochemistry and medicine at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.
Kobilka is the third Nobel Prize winner this week with ties to the Bay Area.
On Monday, University of California anatomy professor Shinya Yamanaka won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with stem cells. Yamanaka shares the award with Dr. John Gurdon, who works at the University of Cambridge.
On Tuesday, a University of California at Berkeley graduate won the Nobel Prize in physics. David Wineland, a Sacramento native who earned his undergraduate degree at the East Bay university shares the award with Serge Haroche of France.