The University of Toronto today awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree to Dr. Oliver Smithies, Nobel laureate who was a research associate at UofT’s Connaught Medical Research Laboratory.

Dr. Smithies along with Dr. Mario Capecchi of the University of Utah and Dr. Martin Evans of Cardiff University pioneered the technique of gene “knockout” and paved the way for a flood of discoveries elucidating gene function in health and disease.

The Nobel Prize was awarded to the trio in 2007 for their groundbreaking work.

Dr. Smithies is not only a critical figure in molecular medicine but is a staunch supporter of higher education. Dr. Smithies divided his Nobel Prize winnings among the four institutions were had worked: University of Toronto, the University of Oxford, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of North Carolina where he is currently serving as Excellence Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Chapel Hill.

The University of Toronto is using Dr. Smithies’ donation to sponsor an annual lecture. The inaugural lecture in this series was given by Dr. Smithies following his convocation.

Read the press release: “Nobel laureaute receives honorary degree from U of T”

John McCulloch

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