fMRI developer may receive Nobel nod

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Seiji Ogawa, PhD, of the Hamano Life Science Research Foundation in Tokyo, who discovered that MRI could be used to measure oxygen flow in the brain in real time, making functional MRI (fMRI) possible, has been named as a possible winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize by researchers at Thomson Scientific, the science unit of Thomson Reuters.

Thomson Reuters' David Pendlebury, who has been making Nobel predictions since 1989, selected Ogawa among six picks in the physiology or medicine category.

Pendlebury also selected Elizabeth Blackburn, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, Carol Greider, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and Jack Szostak, PhD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the discovery of telomeres.

In addition, Pendlebury named James Rothman, PhD, of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and Randy Schekman, PhD, of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, for work on cellular membrane trafficking.

"They have been the pioneers and very highly cited on unraveling what been called traffic signals or signaling within cells," Pendlebury said.