John Chung
Director, BioMolecular NMR Facility

I was in bed at 7AM, when the phone rang. It was a former postdoc here at TSRI who now works in New Jersey who'd gotten wind of the news on the East Coast right about then.

It woke me up—that's for sure. I hurried into the lab since I figured that there'd be some reaction from the community to the announcement. Some people from Union Tribune came out to take photos with Dr. Wuthrich's postdocs.

Wolfgang Peti
Research Associate, Wüthrich lab

It was 3 o'clock in the morning, and I was at home. One of my best friends called me from Cambridge [England] and told me.

I wasn't sure if he was joking, so I called my parents in Austria and asked them to check it out on the internet.

I thought, I have to wake up the other guys, too, so I called them. Unfortunately, they were asleep and didn't wake up when I tried to ring. That was the only disappointment of the day!

Linda Columbus
Research Associate, Wüthrich lab

I was at home, and I knew they were announcing the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, so I checked the web [as soon as I got up]. I screamed to my husband, "You are not going to believe this..."


Torsten Herrmann
Research Associate, Wüthrich lab

I heard about this award early in the morning. I was sitting outside, and I saw a note on my car. At first I thought the police had come by or something.

The note was from this guy who was living in my apartment complex, and it said that Kurt won the prize. I was totally surprised, but I wasn't sure this guy was not playing a joke.

I called Switzerland, and [then] I was sure that it was absolutely true. I immediately went to my roommate and knocked loudly on his door—he was afraid that it might be a fire—and then we sat on the balcony with coffee discussing and laughing because it [came as] a total surprise.


Touraj Etezady
Graduate Student, Wüthrich lab

I heard someone knocking on the door, and I thought, "My God, what is happening? An earthquake?!"

Then Torsten came in and said, "You won't believe it—Kurt won the Nobel prize!"

I couldn't believe it. We started to scream. It was unbelievable. He deserves it—he has worked so hard for it.

I remember back home [in Zürich] at the university. In the first lecture I had with him, he took off his belt and showed us how protein folding works. I am happy for him.

1 | 2 |