UCL’s first Nobel Prize
By Oli Usher, on 7 October 2014
This week is Nobel Prize week. Prof John O’Keefe (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) has just been announced as the winner of the 2014 Physiology or Medicine Nobel Prize for his work on positioning systems in the brain.
He joins a long list of Nobel laureates affiliated to UCL.
The very first of these was Sir William Ramsay, who won the 1904 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Ramsay is seen as one of the fathers of chemistry at UCL, and he is responsible for the discovery of the noble gases. He also supervised two students who also went on to win Nobel Prizes themselves: Jaroslav Heyrovský and Otto Hahn.
Ramsay’s Nobel Prize certificate, pictured above, is held in UCL’s collections, along with his medal and some of the apparatus he used to carry out his research.