|Press Statement from NIH Director Elias A.
NIH Grantees Win 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
for Developing Techniques to Target Specific Genes in Mice
The 2007 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine is shared by two
long-time NIH grantees, Mario R. Capecchi, Ph.D., of the University
of Utah School of Medicine, and Oliver Smithies, Ph.D., of the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The two researchers
are honored, along with Sir Martin J. Evans, Ph.D., of Cardiff
University, for developing the powerful technology known as "gene
Mice developed with this technology are used for a wide range
of medical research, from basic studies of biological processes
to investigations of cancer, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, and
other conditions. The technique enables scientists to breed mice
with specific diseases and use them to test new treatments.
"Capecchi, Smithies, and Evans have produced powerful tools for
biomedical research that have had a profound impact on laboratories
around the world," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "These
tools let us explore human and other genomes in new ways and deepen
our understanding of health and disease."
The NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
began supporting the work of Capecchi in 1968 and Smithies in 1973.
Over the years, NIGMS has provided nearly $20 million to support
the two scientists. In addition, the NIH's National Heart, Lung,
and Blood Institute has provided more than $19 million to support
the research of Dr. Smithies. He has also received support from
the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases and NIH's National Cancer Institute. The National Institute
of Child Health and Health Development has provided more than $5
million to support the research of Dr. Capecchi.
"This work has dramatically reshaped the research landscape and
shows how basic research can stimulate progress in the treatment
and cure of disease through an understanding of fundamental biological
processes," added NIGMS Director Jeremy M. Berg, Ph.D.
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This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs
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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
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and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
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