I try to read as many Nobel lectures as possible. You can often find really important pieces in those successful scientists' life and career that might help you figure out a problem in your research or a way to approach the problem.
This Nobel lecture on membrane fusion by J.E. Rothman is among the best. Just like many other Nobel laureates, he also has an interesting and diverse background that helped him throughout his career.
According to him, "the key elements for breakthrough" are:
-an ideal working environment
-The choice of the right problem at the right time
-A unique way of approaching the problem-hard work and persistence to develop a method that works in the wake of many painful failures
-the right partner to attack the problem-stable research funding
"there is no process in biology that, at its very core, is not physical-chemical
in nature. As the direct consequence, we can expect that, in due course, all of
life—even human thought and emotion—will be understood as emergent from
physics and we will understand ourselves in health and in disease as complex,
organically composed self-determining machines. This is a perspective that may
frighten some, but it should not because it offers our species the best hope for
the long term."
-Seeks universal laws to explain all related processes on a common basis
-Formulates the simplest hypothesis to explain the facts
The simplest hypothesis:
-Intrinsic chemical specificity governs transport, not intracellular anatomy"
Here is the lecture slides :
Here is where I read the lecture: