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North Carolina: A Nobel Calling

Oliver Smithies

Besides the four active Nobel Laureates working in labs at Duke and UNC as of October 2015, North Carolina Biotechnology Center librarians have been able to identify 13 other prizewinners, living and deceased, who have planted their heels somewhere in the "Tar."

If you know of any others, please let us know. Until then, here are the ones we know about:

  • Brian Kobilka, 2012 Chemistry, was a postdoctoral fellow in Robert Lefkowitz's Duke lab and an assistant professor at Duke before joining the Stanford faculty.
  • Peter Agre, 2003 Chemistry, did postdoctoral research at UNC from 1978 to 1981. Served as vice chancellor for science and technology at Duke, 2005 to 2008.
  • Robert Furchgott, 1998 Medicine, received undergraduate degree in chemistry from UNC. Lived in Brooklyn, NY, until his death in 2009.
  • Martin Rodbell, 1994 Medicine, joined NIEHS in RTP in 1985. Died in 1998 in Chapel Hill.
  • Kary Mullis, 1993 Chemistry, born in Lenoir and lived on a family farm in the mountains of N.C. until age 5; named after great-grandfather (Cary Barker from Cary, N.C.). Currently living in Newport Beach, CA.
  • George Hitchings, 1988 Medicine, joined Burroughs Wellcome in 1942 and moved to N.C. when Burroughs Wellcome moved to RTP in 1970. Died in 1998 in Chapel Hill.
  • Gertrude Belle Elion, 1988 Medicine, joined Burroughs Wellcome in 1944 and moved to N.C. when Burroughs Wellcome moved to RTP in 1970. Died in 1999 in Chapel Hill.
  • Daniel L. McFadden, 2000 Economics, born in Raleigh and raised in the mountains of N.C. Left the state to attend college in Minnesota at age 16. Currently lives in Berkley, CA.
  • Robert Coleman Richardson, 1996 Physics, earned his Ph.D. from Duke. Currently a professor at Cornell University in New York.
  • Rudolph Marcus, 1992 Chemistry, did postdoctoral research at UNC from 1949 to 1951. Currently lives in Pasadena, CA.
  • Hans Dehmelt, 1989 Physics, did postdoctoral work at Duke, 1952 to 1955. Currently lives in Washington, D.C.
  • Charles Townes, 1964 Physics, MA degree in physics from Duke, 1936. Currently lives in Berkeley, CA.
  • President Woodrow Wilson, 1919 Nobel Peace Prize, attended Davidson College for one year. Died in 1924.

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