Aziz Sancar, MD, PhD, came to the United States as a graduate student more than 40 years ago. He never left. He took pride in his new country – and his adopted hometown of Chapel Hill – much like he took pride in his home country of Turkey.
His dedication to his work on DNA repair and the circadian clock, has earned him international acclaim, including the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Now he has been honored along with 41 others by the Carnegie Corporation of New York in its annual “Great Immigrants: The Pride of America” initiative.
Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian said, “These accomplished Americans are immigrants like our forefathers, who founded this nation. They are representative of the millions of immigrants who have come to the United States for economic opportunity, education, political or religious asylum, security, or reunification with families and relatives. They, like all Americans, share a common faith in this country.”
The corporation is named after Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant who became a leader in the American steel industry in the 19th century, as well as a notable philanthropist.
Sancar, ever the sports fan, said of the honor, “I am actually most proud of being in the same frame with Fernando Valenzuela. He was my hero in the 1980s, a great pitcher who played for the Dodgers and beat the Yankees to win the World Series!”
Please see the Carnegie press release for more information.
Sancar is the Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.