Alan Lloyd Hodgkin's 1961 Nobel Prize sells for $800,000



2015-11-02 14:11:14

The 1961 Nobel Prize awarded to the Cambridge professor Alan Lloyd Hodgkin has sold in an online auction for almost $800,000.

Hodgkin was an English physiologist and biophysicist who worked alongside Andrew Huxley to investigate electrical nerve impulses.

Together, the pair established the existence of 'action potentials' – electrical impulses that allowed the activity of living organisms to be coordinated by a central nervous system. This discovery also laid the groundwork for breakthroughs in the understanding of disorders including multiple sclerosis, seizures and Parkinson's disease.

They were jointly awarded the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with the Australian neurophysiologist John Eccles.

Hodgkin later spent five years serving as president of the Royal Society, was awarded a Knighthood in 1972, and appointed to the Order of Merit in 1973.
His 23-carat gold medal was offered for sale by Los Angeles auction house Nate D. Sanders, having been consigned by his surviving family, and fetched a final price of $795,614.

The Nobel prize medal is just one of several to have appeared at auction in recent years. 

The 1936 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Carlos Saavedra Lamas, the first Latin American winner of the award, sold in 2014 for $1.16 million after being discovered in a pawn shop.

The current record price for an award was set in December 2014, when American scientist and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA James Watson sold his medal for $4.76 million.

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