Nobel Prize in medicine to be declared in Stockholm

The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was to be announced Monday, with stem cell researchers and pioneers in determining how DNA is constructed among the favorites.

The coveted award honoring achievements in medical research opens this year's series of prize announcements, and will be followed by physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics. The medicine prize is awarded by the Karolinska institute in Stockholm as stated in the will of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist who founded the prestigious awards in 1895.

The final decision on the medicine prize is taken by the institute's Nobel Assembly, which will announce the winner Monday, no earlier than 11:30 a.m. (0930GMT).

The process for selecting winners is extremely secretive, nominations are kept sealed for 50 years, leaving Nobel-watchers little to go on in their speculation.

However, one hint for possible winners is the annual Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation awards. Sixty-eight scientists who have won the US$50,000 (41,000) prizes have gone on to win Nobel Prizes in physiology or medicine, reports the AP. I.L.