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What a proud moment for the University of Utah and the entire Beehive State to have one of our own singled out as a recipient of the world's most recognized and prestigious award - the Nobel Prize.
Congratulations to Professor Mario Capecchi for a most remarkable achievement. The honor is long overdue in view of the widespread impact his gene targeting discoveries are having on the course of medical research. Indeed, because of what Dr. Capecchi is doing, great strides are being made in the treatment of many diseases including diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and cancer.
The story of his early life is as inspiring as his accomplishments in the laboratory.
We've learned how he was abandoned early in World War II on the streets of Italy at the age of three after his mother was arrested and imprisoned for her impassioned anti-Nazi writings:
"I was on the street until 1946. My mother fortunately survived Dachau, and she took about a year and a half to retrace my steps and found me. Then we came to the United States."
The people of Utah are glad they did, and that he eventually chose to make Utah his home. Dr. Capecchi's presence here, this prestigious prize and his ongoing work reaffirm Utah's renown as an international center for groundbreaking genetic research.