Nobel Prize 2015

By: Tristen Broadfoot, Abbie Carek, and Jinah Choe

-DNA damage and repair-

Tomas Lindahl

Scientific info-

  • Name: Tomas Lindahl

  • Born: January 28, 1938 in Stockholm, Sweden

  • Death: N/A currently 77 years old

  • Education:Princeton University, Karolinska Institutet, and Rockefeller University

  • Work: Clare Hall Laboratories 1986-2005

  • Field of Study: DNA damage and repair

  • Fact: First swede to receive chemistry Nobel Prize in 67 years

What did they do-

  • Studied DNA decay

  • Discovered that Glycosylase (a family of enzymes in DNA that break down substances, starts the reaction) led to repair enzymes

  • Results: characterized different DNA repair pathways to provide a better understanding of the cellular defense mechanisms against damage to the human genome.
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Paul Modrich

Scientific info-

  • Name: Paul Modrich

  • Born: June 13, 1946/ Raton, New Mexico

  • Death: N/A currently 69 yrs old

  • Education: PH D- Stanford university 1973 / BS (bachelor of science)- Massachusetts institute of technology 1968

  • Work: Howard Hughes medical institute Durham, NC, USA / Duke University school of medicine Durham, NC, USA

  • Field of Study: mechanisms in e coli and human mismatch repair/ nucleic acid biochem/ cancer biology/ DNA damage and repair

  • Facts: other awards won-

    • Fellows-American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 2004
      Member- Institute of Medicine of The National Academies. 2003
      Investigator/Alumni Investigator-Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 1994
      Members/ Foreign Associates- National Academy of Science. 1993

What did they do-

  • Showed how a cell corrects errors that occur when Dna is replicated during cell division

  • His laboratory determined how mismatch repair works in E. coli, and then clarified the mechanism of the reaction in human cells.

    • Modrich’s lab also found that cancers that lack the mismatch repair are resistant to certain chemotherapeutic drugs, which has implications for treatment protocols.

  • Results: Modrich’s work also has shown that inactivation of this mismatch repair system is the cause of the most common form of hereditary colon cancer, and that repair errors also play an important role in the development of a number of neurodegenerative (loss of neurons) diseases( Parkinson's, Alzheimer's) and 20-30% of tumors found in many tissues.
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Aziz Sancar

Scientific info-

  • Birth: Sep. 8 1946

  • Death: N/A currently 69

  • Education: M.D. Instanbul university/ Ph.D University of Texas at Dallas

  • Work: Professor of Biochemistry at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Fields of Study: Biochemistry, Molecular biology, DNA repair, Molecular biophysics, Cancer research

  • Facts: awarded TÜBITAK science award and Vehbi Koç award

What did they do-

  • Studied DNA Photolyases, a reaction that uses light to repair pyrimidine dimers (parts of DNA linked by sunlight) by breaking the cyclobutane ring (a carbon compound), joining the pyrimidines (things that make up DNA).
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Why Did They Win...

  • Helped people understand how DNA repaired itself, helped people also understand the diseases and effects of having non working mismatch repair systems

  • Explained previous knowledge of DNA

  • Can lead to understand how to prevent cancer cells from repairing, can lead to people understand the importance about this mechanism (mismatch repair/ Dna repair)

  • Future impact: can lead to curing cancer, can lead to preventing neurodegenerative (loss of neurons) diseases like Alzheimer's.

-Cited Sources-