Blobel was born in Waltersdorf (Niegosławice) in the Prussian Province of Lower Silesia. He graduated at the University of Tübingen in 1960 and received his Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1967. He was appointed to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1986.
Blobel was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that newly synthesized proteins contain "address tags" which direct them to the proper location within the cell. This is known as protein targeting.
Blobel is also well-known for his direct and active support for the rebuilding of Dresden in Germany, becoming, in 1994, the founder and president of the nonprofit "Friends of Dresden, Inc." He donated all of the Nobel award money to the restoration of Dresden, in particular for the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche (completed in 2005) and the building of a new synagogue.
As of 2003, Blobel works at the Rockefeller University, New York City. Blobel lives in Manhattan's Upper East Side with his wife and three English setters. He is also on the board of directors for Nestlé.
- 1978: National Academy of Sciences' U.S. Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology
- 1982: Gairdner Foundation International Award
- 1987: Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University
- 1993: Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
- 1995: Ciba Drew Award in Biomedical Research
- 1996: King Faisal Award
- 1997: Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology
- 1999: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- Blobel's page at Rockefeller University
- Blobel's Nobel Prize autobiography
- Freeview video 'An Interview with Günter Blobel' by the Vega Science Trust
- Official site of the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize
- Information about Blobel as Distinguished German-American of the Year 2005 (German-American Heritage Foundation)