Celebrating Nobel
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UTMB Nobel Glee ClubWe love this time of year as we celebrate science. Ahh… the festivities, the pageantry and the music…

The first Nobel, Alfred did say,
Was to honor those in fields as they may:
In fields, where they play for all to seek,
For a lifetime’s work, this is the peak
Nobel, Nobel, Nobel, Nobel (fade out)

I know we have Alfred Nobel to thank for the Nobel Prizes and I love it! It’s the major event in science and medicine and 2015’s Nobel in Chemistry went to three scientists! They’re Thomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich, and Aziz Sancar, recognized for their insight into how DNA is constantly monitored by a number of “repair systems”. Dr. Sancar and Dr. Lindahl discovered a process called nucleotide excision repair that reverses damage to our DNA. Dr. Modrich clarified how errors during DNA replication are removed and corrected. Without these efficient molecular systems, life would be compromised.

The Nobel in Physiology or Medicine was also shared by three scientists who developed new therapies against devastating parasitic diseases. Dr. William Campbell and Dr. Satoshi Omura discovered Avermectin. This drug has dramatically lowered infections of River Blindness and filariasis caused by round worm parasites. Dr. Youyou Tu discovered Artemisinin, a drug that controls malaria and reduces mortality rates. These scientists represent the epitome of achievement in biology, medicine and chemistry. We applaud the 2015 Nobel winners.