By: Tirthna Badhiwala
Members of the Tar Heel family woke up to some exciting news this Wednesday: One of the three recipients of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was UNC's own Dr. Aziz Sancar!
Sancar, along with Swedish scientist Dr. Thomas Lindahl and Duke University professor Dr. Paul Modrich, received the prestigious award for 1970's and 1980's research mapping how cells repair damaged DNA. Dr. Sancar was specifically recognized for his findings of the mechanical aspect of DNA reparation at the cellular level. The three scientists' discoveries have served as the source of inspiration for new cancer treatment research and development.
Dr. Sancar is the second UNC professor to win a Nobel Prize. In 2007, Dr. Oliver Smithies won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his "discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells".