The University of Texas Dallas recently applauded alumni couple Dr. Aziz Sancar, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and Dr. Gwen Sancar, who met while pursuing doctoral degrees in molecular biology at the school in the mid-1970s.
“UT Dallas was the
world center for DNA repair research, with at least five scientists working on
different aspects,” Aziz, who won the Nobel Prize for his work in the DNA
repair field, said. “It was an extremely stimulating intellectual environment…It was
the foundation of everything I have done since,” he said. “I started on DNA
repair at UT Dallas, and I have continued for over 40 years on that path. The university has had a significant impact on my research.”
Aziz, originally from
rural Turkey, moved to the United States while pursuing his a second doctoral
degree, having already attended Istanbul Medical School. He and Gwen met while
working in UT Dallas’ labs.
“Aziz and I were both
very hardworking grad students, and two of the few who tended to work very late
in the lab, so we would meet in the evenings over equipment, basically,” Gwen
said. “We talked with each other at night because there wasn’t anybody else to
talk to while we waited for things to happen with our experiments.”
The Sancars now
teach at the University of North Carolina.
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