Review: Recent winners of the Nobel Prize in medicine

Year 2012: Briton John Gurdon and Japan's Shinya Yamanaka for their discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed into immature cells that can be turned into all tissues of the body, a finding that revolutionized understanding of how cells and organisms develop.

Year 2011: American Bruce Beutler and French researcher Jules Hoffmann for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity, sharing it with Canadian-born Ralph Steinman for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.

Year 2010: British researcher Robert Edwards for the development of in vitro fertilization.

Year 2009: Americans Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for their discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase, research that has implications for cancer and aging research.

Year 2008: Harald zur Hausen and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier for discoveries of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer and the discovery of human immunodeficiency virus.

Year 2007: Mario R. Capecchi and Oliver Smithies of the United States and Martin J. Evans of the United Kingdom, for their discoveries leading to a powerful technique for manipulating mouse genes.

Year 2006: Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello, of the United States, for their work in controlling the flow of genetic information.

Year 2005: Barry J. Marshall and Robin Warren, of Australia, for their work in how the bacterium Helicobacter pylori plays a role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.