“He was speechless, very happy, he asked me if he could tell his wife, I said yes. He was incredibly happy.”
His father, Sune Bergström, already received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1982 for his findings on hormones. Svante Pääbo bears the surname of his mother, the Estonian chemist Karin Pääbo.
The prize is accompanied by a reward of 10 million crowns (about 900,000 dollars).
The Nobel Prize in Medicine will be followed by Physics on Tuesday, Chemistry on Wednesday and, the most anticipated, Literature on Thursday and Peace on Friday (in Oslo).
The most recently created Nobel Prize for Economics closes the 2022 season next Monday.
With this 113th Nobel Prize in Medicine, there are 226 individuals who have won the award since its creation, including 12 women. No organization has been rewarded, as it is prohibited in the regulations of the Karolinska Institute that awards the prizes.
A Nobel Prize dominated by men
Last year, the award went to Americans Ardem Patapoutian and David Julius for their discoveries about how the nervous system transmits temperature and touch.
American researchers or researchers installed in the United States, of the male sex, widely dominate the scientific Nobel prizes of recent decades, despite the efforts of the juries to consecrate more women.
For the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday, critics questioned by AFP are leaning towards a better-known name, after two more discreet winners, the American poet Louise Glück in 2020 and the British novelist of Tanzanian origin Abdulrazak Gurnah last year.
The American Joyce Carol Oates, the French Annie Ernaux, the Russian Ludmila Ulitskaia or the Canadian Margaret Atwood would ratify the parity efforts of the jury in recent years.
But it would be the Peace Prize that would have the most impact this year.
After having awarded two journalists, the Russian Dmitri Muratov and the Filipino Maria Ressa, will the Norwegian committee give an anti-Putin prize after the invasion of Ukraine?
Never since World War II has an interstate conflict occurred so close to Oslo.
The International Criminal Court (ICC), in charge of investigating war crimes in Ukraine, as well as the International Court of Justice, also based in the Netherlands, sound among the candidates. Also the imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalni or the Belarusian opponent Svetlana Tijanóvskaya.