The Nobel Prize was established in accordance with the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite and holder of more than 350 patents. Awarded annually since 1901, the Nobel Prize is the first annual international award to recognise achievements in Physics, Medicine, Chemistry, Peace and Literature.

Nobel Prizes have been awarded to members of the University of Cambridge for significant advances as diverse as the discovery of the structure of DNA, the development of a national income accounting system, the mastery of an epic and narrative psychological art and the discovery of penicillin.

Affiliates of University of Cambridge have received more Nobel Prizes than those of any other institution.

  • 107 affiliates of the University of Cambridge have been awarded the Nobel Prize since 1904
  • Affiliates have received Nobel Prizes in every category: 32 in Physics, 26 in Medicine, 25 in Chemistry, 11 in Economics, three in Literature and two in Peace
  • Trinity College has 33 Nobel Laureates, the most of any College at Cambridge
  • Dorothy Hodgkin is the first woman from Cambridge to have been awarded a Nobel Prize, for her work on the structure of compounds used in fighting anaemia
  • In 1950, Bertrand Russell became the first person from Cambridge to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, for his 1946 work A History of Western Philosophy
  • Frederick Sanger, from St John’s and Fellow of King’s, is one of only four individuals to have been awarded a Nobel Prize twice – he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1958 and 1980

Our list includes: alumni; academics who carried out research at the University in postdoctoral or faculty positions; and official appointments (visiting fellowships, lectureships, etc.). We have not included informal positions, non-academic positions and honorary positions. We have omitted several laureates where there is insufficient information available to confirm their connection with the University.


 

Cambridge’s Nobel Laureates

2018

  • Gregory Winter (Trinity College alumnus and Master), MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
    Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry with George P Smith from the University of Missouri, USA, for the phage display of peptides and antibodies (the other half of this prize was awarded to Frances H Arnold, California Institute of Technology, USA, for the directed evolution of enzymes)

2017

  • Richard Henderson (Corpus Christi College and Darwin College) and Joachim Frank, former Cavendish senior research associate
    Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with Jacques Dubochet from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution

2016

  • Oliver Hart (King's College 1966)​
    Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his contributions to contract theory
  • David Thouless (Trinity Hall 1952), Duncan Haldane (Christ’s College 1970) and Michael Kosterlitz (Gonville and Caius College 1962)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter

2015

  • Angus Deaton (Fitzwilliam College)​​
    Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare

2013

  • Michael Levitt (Gonville and Caius College and Peterhouse)
    ​Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems

2012

  • John Gurdon (Churchill and Magdalene Colleges), Emeritus Professor in Cell Biology
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent

2010

  • Robert G Edwards (Churchill College), Emeritus Professor of Human Reproduction
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for the development of in vitro fertilization
  • Peter Diamond (Churchill College)
  • Nobel Prize in Economics for analysis of markets with search frictions

2009

  • Venki Ramakrishnan (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome
  • Elizabeth H Blackburn (Darwin College 1971)
    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase
  • Thomas Steitz (Postdoctoral research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology)
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the structure and function of the ribosome

2008

  • Roger Y Tsien (Churchill and Gonville and Caius Colleges)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein GFP

2007

  • Martin Evans (Christ's College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells
  • Eric Maskin (Jesus College)
    Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory

2005

  • Richard R Schrock
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry, for the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis

2002

  • Sydney Brenner (King's College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death
  • John Sulston (Pembroke College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death

2001

  • Tim Hunt (Clare College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle
  • Joseph Stiglitz (Gonville and Caius College)
    Nobel Prize in Economics for analyses of markets with asymmetric information

2000

  • Paul Greengard
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system
  • Alan McDiarmid (Sidney Sussex College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of conductive polymers

1998

  • John Pople (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of computational methods in quantum chemistry
  • Amartya Sen (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to welfare economics

1997

  • John Walker (Sidney Sussex College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for studying how a spinning enzyme creates the molecule that powers cells in muscles

1996

  • James Mirrlees (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Economics for studying behaviour in the absence of complete information

1993

  • Robert Fogel (Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions)
  • Nobel Prize in Economics for having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain economic and institutional change

1990

  • Octavio Paz (Simón Bolívar Professor) (Churchill College)
  • Nobel Prize in Literature for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity

1989

  • Norman Ramsey (Clare College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for developing the separated field method

1987

  • Jean-Marie Lehn (Alexander Todd Visiting Professor of Chemistry)
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity
  • Joseph Brodsky (Clare Hall)
  • Nobel Prize in Literature for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity

1986

  • Wole Soyinka (Churchill College)
    Nobel Prize in Literature for 'in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashion[ing] the drama of existence'

1984

  • Richard Stone (Gonville and Caius College and Fellow of King's College)
    Nobel Prize in Economics for developing a national income accounting system
  • Georges Kohler and Cesar Milstein (Fellow of Darwin and Fitzwilliam Colleges)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for developing a technique for the production of monoclonal antibodies

1983

  • Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (Trinity College) and William Fowler (Pembroke College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for the evolution and devolution of stars
  • Gerard Debreu (Churchill College)
    Nobel Prize in Economics for reforming the theory of general equilibrium

1982

  • Aaron Klug (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the structure of biologically active substances

1980

  • Walter Gilbert (Trinity College) and Frederick Sanger (St John's College and fellow of King's College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the theory of nucleotide links in nucleic acids

1979

  • Abdus Salam (St John's College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for electromagnetic and weak particle interactions
  • Allan Cormack (St John's College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for developing CAT scans

1978

  • Pyotr Kapitsa (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the helium liquefier
  • Peter Mitchell (Jesus College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the energy transfer processes in biological systems

1977

  • Philip Anderson (Churchill College) and Nevill Mott (Gonville and Caius and St John's Colleges)
    Nobel Prize in Physics, for the behaviour of electrons in magnetic solids
  • James Meade (Christ's and Trinity Colleges)
    Nobel Prize in Economics for contributions to the theory of international trade

1976

  • Milton Friedman (Gonville and Caius College)
  • Nobel Prize in Economics for consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and the complexity of stabilization policy.

1974

  • Patrick White (King's College)
    Nobel Prize in Literature for an epic and psychological narrative art
  • Antony Hewish (Gonville and Caius and Churchill Colleges)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of pulsars
  • Martin Ryle (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of aperture synthesis

1973

  • Brian Josephson (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for the tunnelling in superconductors and semiconductors​
  • Ivar Giaever (Clare Hall)
  • Nobel Prize in Physics for the tunnelling in superconductors and semiconductors​

1972

  • Kenneth J Arrow (Churchill College) and John Hicks (Gonville and Caius College)
    Nobel Prize in Economics for the equilibrium theory
  • Rodney Porter (Pembroke College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for the chemical structure of antibodies

1969

  • Murray Gell-Mann (Churchill College)
  • Nobel Prize in Physics for the classification of elementary particles and their interactions

1967

  • Ronald Norrish (Emmanuel College) and George Porter (Emmanuel College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the study of fast Chemical reactions

1964

  • Dorothy Hodgkin (Newnham and Girton Colleges)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the structure of compounds used to fight anaemia

1963

  • Alan Hodgkin (Trinity College) and Andrew Huxley (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for the transmission of impulses along a nerve fibre

1962

  • John Kendrew (Trinity College) and Max Perutz (Peterhouse)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for determining the structure of haemoproteins
  • Maurice Wilkins (St John's College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for determining the structure of DNA
  • Francis Crick (Gonville and Caius and Churchill Colleges) and James Watson (Clare College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for determining the structure of DNA

1959

  • Philip Noel-Baker (King's College)
    Nobel Prize in Peace for work towards global disarmament

1958

  • Frederick Sanger (St John's College and fellow of King's College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the structure of the insulin molecule

1957

  • Alexander Todd (Christ's College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work on nucleotides

1954

  • Max Born (Gonville and Caius College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for fundamental research into quantum mechanics

1953

  • Hans Krebs
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the citric acid cycle

1952

  • Richard Synge (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing partition chromatography

1952

  • Archer Martin (Peterhouse)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing partition chromatography

1951

  • John Cockcroft (St John's and Churchill Colleges) and Ernest Walton (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for using accelerated particles to study atomic nuclei

1950

  • Cecil Powell (Sidney Sussex College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for photography of nuclear processes
  • Bertrand Russell (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Literature for A History of Western Philosophy (1946)

1948

  • Patrick Blackett (Magdalene and King's Colleges)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for nuclear physics and cosmic radiation

1947

  • Edward Appleton (St John's College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the Appleton Layer

1945

  • Ernst Chain (Fitzwilliam College) and Howard Florey (Gonville and Caius College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of penicillin

1937

  • George Thomson (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for interference in crystals irradiated by electrons
  • Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (Fitzwilliam College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for combustion in biology

1936

  • Henry Dale (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for the chemical transmission of nerve impulses

1935

  • James Chadwick (Gonville and Caius College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the neutron

1933

  • Paul Dirac (St John's College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for quantum mechanics

1932

  • Lord Edgar Adrian (Trinity College) and Charles Sherrington (Gonville and Caius College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for work on the function of neurons

1929

  • Frederick Hopkins (Trinity and Emmanuel Colleges)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering growth stimulating vitamins

1928

  • Owen Richardson (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for creating Richardson's Law

1927

  • Charles Wilson (Sidney Sussex College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the cloud chamber
  • Arthur Holly Compton
    Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering wavelength change in diffused X-rays

1925

  • Austen Chamberlain (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Peace for work on the Locarno Pact (1925)

1922

  • Niels Bohr (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for investigating atomic structure and radiation
  • Francis Aston (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work on mass spectroscopy
  • Archibald Hill (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Medicine for work on heat production in the muscles

1917

  • Charles Barkla (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics, for discovering the characteristics of X-radiation

1915

  • Lawrence Bragg (Trinity College) and William Bragg (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for analysing crystal structure using X-rays

1908

  • Ernest Rutherford (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry for atomic structure and radioactivity

1906

  • JJ Thomson (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for investigating the electrical conductivity of gases

1904

  • Lord Rayleigh – John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (Trinity College)
    Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering Argon