© The Nobel Foundation. Photo: U. Montan
Mario R. Capecchi
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2007
Born: 6 October 1937, Verona, Italy
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells."
Prize share: 1/3
DNA carries organisms' genomes and also determines their vital processes. The ability to artificially alter DNA opens the way to both new scientific understanding and new treatment methods for various illnesses. In the early 1980s, Mario Capecchi discovered that sections of DNA that had been inserted into the cell nuclei of mammals could be incorporated into the cell's genome. In 1986, Mario Capecchi and Oliver Smithies successfully achieved specific modifications in the genomes of mice. By inactivating specific genes, their functions could be determined.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.