Thursday, June 23, 2011

The sobriquet Brownstein

 The sobriquet Brownstein refers to the two medical scientists Michael Stuart Brown (born 1941, USA) and Joseph Leonard Goldstein (born 1940, USA),  who are sharing the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, awarded for their discoveries concerning  the regulation of the cholesterol metabolism [1].

Another Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Harold Varmus presents the Brownstein Duo [my term] as one of those rare examples of two individuals, who are working closely together for over a decade without legal ties, yet collaborating productively and becoming famous together (Chapter 8: Partnership in Science in [2]). Varmus points out the very similar age and training of Goldstein and Brown and their shared passion for understanding cholesterol metabolism, blood lipids, and atherosclerosis. Although they differ in their personalities, accents (South Carolina and New York), social relationships and cultural interests, their scientific bond brought them success. The German word Stein means rock, often used as a metaphor for something difficult to break—like a jointly earned Nobel Prize.

References and further reading
[1] Harold Varmus: The Art and Politics of Science. W. W. Norton & Comany, New York and London, 2009; page 115.
[2] 1985 Nobel Laureates in Medicine: Michael S. Brown [] and Joseph L. Goldstein [].

No comments:

Post a Comment