Svante Pääbo, Nobel Prize in Medicine 2022
The jury of the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) announced today that the 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine is for Svante Pääbo, for his discoveries about the genomes of extinct hominins, which has allowed the development of a whole new discipline in the study of 'human evolution, paleogenomics.
Robert Sala and Eudald Carbonell, current and former director of IPHES congratulate Svante Pääbo and comment on the importance of his contributions
"In prehistory we study human populations, their evolution, adaptation and movements in the territory and along the continents. Professor Pääbo has put at our disposal a very powerful tool to identify human populations and their interactions in a very precise way. This, paleogenomics, has made it possible to identify long-distance relationships but also substitutions and disappearance of populations at different times in prehistory. Many times it has confirmed prehistorians' hypotheses, but in others it has brought to light previously undetected changes."
“Our relationship with Svante Pääbo is a personal and professional relationship; in fact, the discovery of Atapuerca's mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA was directed and coordinated by Svante Pääbo and the project directors. He also participated in the XVII World Congress of Prehistory (UISPP) held in 2014 in the city of Burgos. Since then he has had a very fluid relationship with us and is a great friend of the project. It has fundamentally contributed to changing our perspective on a very controversial species, Homo neanderthalensis, in the sense that we did not know exactly how it had evolved. From this perspective, we think it is a well-deserved Award, the result of a great effort by both him and his entire team.”