In 1994, Martin Rodbell received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for studies on how cells work. He shared this prize with another scientist, Alfred Gilman.
He was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1925. In 1943, he enrolled in college, but then was drafted into the U.S. Navy. He served during World War II in the Pacific. After the war, Rodbell went back to college and got a degree in biology in 1949. He went on to get his Ph.D. degree in 1954.
During his long career, he conducted research at several universities in the United States and Switzerland, and at the National Institutes of Health.
Martin Rodbell was scientific director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) from 1985–1989 and worked at NIEHS until he retired in 1994.
The Nobel Prize is named after Alfred Nobel, a famous scientist and inventor from Sweden. He invented dynamite and had more than 350 patents. When he died in 1896, he left a huge amount of money in his will. He wanted that money used for annual prizes for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. The winners get the Nobel medal and a prize of 10 million Swedish crowns (more than a million dollars).