Aziz Sancar Success Story
Aziz Sancar, recipient of the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 2015, is a Turkish-American biochemist and molecular biologist specializing in DNA repair, the circadian clock and cell cycle checkpoints. Not one to forget his roots, Sancar has co-founded the Aziz and Gwen Sancar Foundation, a non-profit organization, dedicated to upholding the Turkish culture and sustaining the Turkish students in the United States.
Born on September 8, 1946, into a lower middle-class family in the Savur District of Mardin Province, South-Eastern Turkey, Sancar’s parents, though illiterate, put great stress on the need for education. He has a M.D from the Istanbul University of Turkey, and has done his PhD on photo-reactivating enzyme of E.coli from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Aziz Sancar is the Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been extensively involved in the research of ‘photolyase and the mechanisms of photo-reaction’. His research comprises three inter-related topics: (1) Mammalian DNA Excision Repair; (2) Mammalian DNA Damage Checkpoints; (3) Mammalian Circadian Clock.
Sancar, apart from being an honorary member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was also selected as a member of the national Academy of Sciences.
Aziz Sancar is married to Gwen Boles, a Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Aziz and his wife, Gwen have established a permanent Turkish Centre, Carolina Turk Evi, which acts as a hostel-cum-guest-house for Turkish researchers and visiting scholars. It also suffices as a centre for promoting Turkish-American exchange.
Aziz Sancar has a long and impressive list of accomplishments to his credit. along with Tomas Lindahl and Paul L. Modrich, was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his mechanistic studies of DNA repair, making him the second Turkish Nobel laureate. In his distinguished career.
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