Did You Know: Nobel Laureates

The Case Western Reserve University community is celebrating Legacy Week to honor the institution’s rich history. For the remainder of the week, we will highlight an aspect of the university’s story to help connect the community even though we are physically apart.

Research is a hallmark of Case Western Reserve University’s legacy, a fact highlighted by the 16 alumni and former faculty members who have earned Nobel Prizes in numerous fields. 

Most recently, alumnus Richard H. Thaler, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Adelbert College in 1967, won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 2017. The university has had one other winner in economic science: Edward C. Prescott, who received a master’s degree in operations research in 1964 and won the Nobel Prize in 2004.

The majority (seven) of CWRU’s Nobel Laureates have won for physiology or medicine:

  • 2003: Paul C. Lauterbur, earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1951;
  • 1998: Ferid Murad, earned MD and PhD degrees in 1965;
  • 1994: Alfred G. Gilman, earned MD and PhD degrees in 1969;
  • 1988: George H. Hitchings, former professor of biochemistry.
  • 1971: Earl W. Sutherland Jr., former professor and chairman of the Department of Pharmacology;
  • 1954: Frederick C. Robbins, former professor emeritus of pediatrics, dean emeritus of medicine and university professor emeritus; and
  • 1923: John J. R. Macleod, former professor of physiology.

The university also has made an impression on the field of physics with four Nobel Laureates in Physics connected to CWRU:

  • 1995: Frederick Reines, former professor and chairman of the Department of Physics;
  • 1960: Donald A. Glaser, earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1946;
  • 1955: Polycarp Kusch, earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1931; and
  • 1907: Albert A. Michelson, former professor of physics.

At the time Michelson won his Nobel Prize, he was the first American scientist to win the Prize.

Additionally, there have been three recipients for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry affiliated with CWRU:

  • 2003: Peter Agre, who completed clinical training in the Department of Medicine at University Hospitals Case Medical Center;
  • 1994: George A. Olah, former professor and chairman of the Department of Chemistry; and
  • 1980: Paul Berg, earned a PhD degree in 1952.

Learn more about the Nobel Laureates tied to CWRU.