Nobel laureate Sancar to donate Nobel medal replica to Istanbul University

Nobel laureate Sancar to donate Nobel medal replica to Istanbul University

Nobel laureate Sancar to donate Nobel medal replica to Istanbul University

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Aziz Sancar will donate a replica of his Nobel Prize in Chemistry medal and certificate to Istanbul University, from which he graduated back in 1969.

Professor Sancar will on May 23 visit the university, where he is scheduled to attend a series of events. 

He will first give a diploma to the top student of the medical faculty during the graduation ceremony and will later present one of the replicas of his Nobel medal and certificate to the president of Istanbul University, Professor Mahmut Ak, according to a statement from the university.

Sancar will also receive an honorary degree for his contributions to world science.

“Sancar, educated by the Istanbul University Medical Faculty, has shown what we can achieve in science. The award that he is donating to our university will forever be displayed here and will be a source of inspiration for young scientists,” Ak said in the statement.

Meanwhile, Istanbul University’s new experimental medicine research institute will also be named after Sancar on the same day as his visit. 

Sancar, who currently works at the University of North Carolina, was among three scientists awarded the Nobel Prize for their work on DNA repair. He won the prize along with Tomas Lindahl and Paul Modrich for his work in mapping cells that repair ultraviolet damage to DNA. Their research was an important step in the quest to beat cancer.

Sancar has previously stated that he would present his original Nobel Prize medal and certificate at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. The Turkish General Staff said in a statement on May 16 that the presentation ceremony would be held at Anıtkabir between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on May 19, the Youth and Sports Day.
In Stockholm while accepting his award, Sancar had expressed his gratitude to the republic for “sponsoring most of his education.”

“This award was earned thanks to Atatürk,” he said.

Three medals and three certificates are given to Nobel laureates. Professor Sancar gave one of these to the Turkish General Staff and will donate the second to Istanbul University. The other will be kept at the University of North Carolina, while the original will be presented at Anıtkabir.