List of Nobel laureates affiliated with King's College London

Twelve Nobel laureates have been affiliated with King's College London. The building pictured is the Embankment terrace entrance to the Strand Campus overlooking the River Thames.

The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Karolinska Institute, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine.[1] They were established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which dictates that the awards should be administered by the Nobel Foundation. Another prize, the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, for contributors to the field of economics.[2] Each prize is awarded by a separate committee: the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Economics, the Karolinska Institute awards the Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the Prize in Peace.[3] Each recipient receives a medal, a diploma and a cash prize that has varied throughout the years.[2] In 1901, the winners of the first Nobel Prizes were given 150,782 SEK, which is equal to 7,731,004 SEK in December 2007. In 2008, the winners were awarded a prize amount of 10,000,000 SEK.[4] The awards are presented in Stockholm in an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.[5]

As of 2013, there have been 12 Nobel laureates affiliated with King's College London. King's College considers laureates who attended the university as undergraduate students, graduate students or were members of the faculty as affiliated laureates.[6] Charles Glover Barkla, who served as the Professor of Physics at King's College from 1909 to 1913, was the first King's College-affiliated laureate, winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1917.[7] Nine of the Twelve King's College laureates were recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics or the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; the remaining laureates being awarded for Chemistry, Peace and Literature.


Year Image Laureate Relation Category Rationale
1917 Barkla, Charles GloverCharles Glover Barkla Professor of Physics, 1909–1913 Physics "for his discovery of the characteristic Röntgen radiation of the elements"[7]
1928 Richardson, Owen WillansOwen Willans Richardson Professor of Physics, 1914–1924 Physics "for his work on the thermionic phenomenon and especially for the discovery of the law named after him"[8]
1929 Hopkins, Frederick GowlandFrederick Gowland Hopkins
(shared with Christiaan Eijkman)
Student, Guy's Hospital; Professor of physiology and toxicology, Guy's Hospital, 1894–1898 Physiology or Medicine "for his discovery of the growth-stimulating vitamins"[9]
1932 Sherrington, Charles ScottCharles Scott Sherrington
(shared with Edgar Adrian, 1st Baron Adrian)
Professor of systemic physiology, St Thomas' Hospital, 1887–1891 Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries regarding the functions of neurons"[10]
1947 Appleton, Edward VictorEdward Victor Appleton Wheatstone Professor of Physics, 1924–1936 Physics "for his investigations of the physics of the upper atmosphere especially for the discovery of the so-called Appleton layer"[11]
1951 Theiler, MaxMax Theiler M.D., 1922 Physiology or Medicine "for his discoveries concerning yellow fever and how to combat it"[12]
1962 Wilkins, MauriceMaurice Wilkins
(shared with Francis Crick and James D. Watson)
Emeritus Professor of Biophysics Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material"[13]
1984 Tutu, DesmondDesmond Tutu B.D., 1965; M.Th., 1966; Fellow of King's College, 1978; Visiting Professor in Post-conflict Societies, 2004 Peace "Bishop of Johannesburg; former Secretary General, South African Council of Churches"[14]
1988 Black, James W.James W. Black
(shared with Gertrude B. Elion and George H. Hitchings)
Emeritus Professor of Analytical Pharmacology Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment"[15]
2010 Llosa, Mario VargasMario Vargas Llosa Lecturer in Spanish American Literature 1969–1970 Literature "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat"[16]
2013 Higgs, PeterPeter Higgs
(shared with François Englert)
B.Sc., 1950; M.Sc., 1952; PhD., 1954; Fellow of King's College, 1998[17] Physics “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider”[18]
2013 Levitt, MichaelMichael Levitt
(shared with Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel)
B.Sc., 1967 Chemistry "for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems"[19]


  1. "Alfred Nobel The Man Behind the Nobel Prize". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  2. 1 2 "The Nobel Prize". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  3. "The Nobel Prize Awarders". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  4. "The Nobel Prize Amounts". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on February 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  5. "The Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on February 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  6. "King's Nobel laureates". King's College London. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  7. 1 2 "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1917". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  8. "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1928". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  9. "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1929". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  10. "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1932". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  11. "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1947". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  12. "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1951". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  13. "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  14. "The Nobel Peace Prize 1984". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  15. "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1988". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
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