2003 - Mario R. Capecchi - NOBEL 2007

University of Utah School of Medicine
Co-Chair, Department of Human Genetics
Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Salt Lake City, UT


The Pezcoller Foundation and the AACR honor Mario R. Capecchi for his discovery, development, and application of targeted mutagenesis in mouse embryonal stem cells. His laboratory’s refinement of this approach ultimately revolutionized the field of mouse genetics. This enabling technology has now generated thousands of “knockout mice” in laboratories throughout the world leading to numerous breakthrough observations and biological insights that would otherwise not have been possible. The generation of models of human cancer in mice, stemming from his work, has made an enormous impact on cancer research, thereby elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in tumorigenesis and allowing new therapeutic strategies to be tested in laboratory animals. In his own work, Dr. Capecchi has used knockout technology to study the function of several key genes, including the int-2 oncogene and the Hox gene family, which play critical roles in normal development and in cancer cells. The impact of this discovery has changed the face of modern biology.

Dr. Capecchi, born in Verona, Italy, initially trained in chemistry and physics at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. He then pursued graduate studies in the new field of molecular biology with Dr. James D. Watson at Harvard University, earning a PhD in biophysics in 1967. After spending four years on the biochemistry faculty at Harvard Medical School, he moved to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he is currently the Profess and Co-Chair of the Department of Human Genetics and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has received numerous awards, including the General Motors Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Prize for Outstanding Basic Science Contributions to Cancer Research, the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences, the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, and the National Medal of Science.
2003 - Mario R. Capecchi- NOBEL 2007
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