SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Mario R. Capecchi, Ph.D., distinguished professor of human genetics and biology at the University of Utahs Eccles Institute of Human Genetics and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, has won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The announcement was made this morning by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, Sweden. The prize recognizes Capecchis pioneering development of knockout mice technology, a gene-targeting technique that has revolutionized the study of mammalian biology and allowed the creation of animal models for hundreds of human diseases, including the modeling of cancers in the mouse.
Capecchi shared the Noble prize with Oliver Smithies, D.Phil., of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Sir Martin Evans, Ph.D., at the University of Cardiff, Wales.
The Nobel committee cited the three for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells.
This is a tremendous honor for our University, for our Department of Human Genetics, and, specifically, for all the members of my laboratory, past and present who have contributed to this work, said Capecchi upon receiving notification of the Nobel Prize early this morning. The strong support and genuine interest of the University and Salt Lake City communities have been marvelous.
It is a great honor to share this prize with Drs. Oliver Smithies and Martin Evans. We have all been very fortunate in having a longstanding scientific friendship and in being able to profoundly contribute to each others work. This prize is a tribute to our collective efforts.
The Nobel tops a long list of prestigious honors for Capecchi, who, as a child, was forced to wander four years on the streets of Italy after the Nazis imprisoned his mother in a concentration camp. His achievements in gene targeting were recognized with
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University of Utah Health Sciences Center