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Vehbi Koç Evi
June 30,2020-indefinite

Prof. Aziz Sancar, the recipient of the 6th Vehbi Koç Award has been granted the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Nobel prize in chemistry has been awarded to Aziz Sancar for his research into the mechanisms that cells use to repair DNA. Aziz Sancar is also the winner of Vehbi Koç Award in 2007 which was given in the category of heathcare. Aziz Sancar, MD PhD is Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine where he conducts research on “DNA Repair, Cell Cycle and Cancer Treatment, and the Biological Clock”.

In 2007, Prof. Aziz Sancar was granted the 6th Vehbi Koç Award for his outstanding work in healthcare and high-level scientific contributions to human health. Prof. Sancar is also the recipient of NSF-Presidential Young Investigator Award (1984) and American Society for Photobiology Research Award (1990) in the States, TÜBİTAK Award in Biological Sciences (1995) in Turkey. He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences USA, a Member of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Member of Turkish Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Sancar was born in Savur-Mardin, Turkey in 1946. He obtained his primary and secondary education in Savur and Mardin, and then received an M.D. degree in 1969 from the Istanbul University School of Medicine. After practicing medicine in Savur for two years he attended the University of Texas at Dallas and obtained a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology in 1977 with his work on DNA repair.  Prof. Sancar conducted postdoctoral work at Yale University on molecular biology of DNA repair in the period 1977-1982. He joined the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UNC Chapel Hill in 1982 where he has been conducting research on DNA Repair, Cell Cycle and Cancer Treatment, and the Biological Clock. He has published 288 research articles and 33 book chapters.

Another successful initiative by Prof. Aziz Sancar and his wife Prof. Gwen Sancar who is also a lecturer at North Carolina University, is the Gwen and Aziz Sancar Foundation. The Foundation’s Turkish House in North Carolina provides accommodation to Turkish students in the district as well as strengthening the Turkish-American relationships and conducting activities to promote Turkish culture in the US.


Please click to watch a short documentary (in Turkish) about Aziz Sancar and the Nobel Prize Announcement video.