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In 1994, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded jointly to Rodbell and Alfred G. Gilman of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for the discovery of G-proteins and their role in signal transduction in cells. Gilman provided a critical piece of the puzzle. He isolated the transducer molecules and defined their structure. Because they were proteins that bind GTP, Gilman called them G-proteins.

Rodbell recieving his prize from His Majesty, King of Sweden 

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