Mario R. Capecchi
A remarkable biologist and geneticist, Mario R. Capecchi is also a remarkable human being who has channeled his extraordinary intellect, talents, and energies to become a world-renowned pioneer in genetics research.
An investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Capecchi is known worldwide for his pioneering work on the development of new technology to replace and alter genes in mice. The techniques have had tremendous impact on understanding human genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy, as well as on the function of all human genes. His studies are among the most dramatic examples of how science can improve the quality of life, give hope to patients with genetic diseases, and provide answers to complex biological questions."
A native of Verona, Italy, Dr. Capecchi joined relatives in the United States after living as an orphan during World War II. He earned an undergraduate degree from Antioch College and a doctorate in biophysics from Harvard University in 1967, where he studied with Nobel Prize-winning genetics giant Dr. James D. Watson. He joined the University of Utah as a professor of biology in 1973, and became a professor of human genetics in 1989. He was named distinguished professor of Human Genetics and Biology in 1993.
Dr. Capecchi is the first holder of the Helen Lowe Bamberger Colby Presidential Endowed Chair in Health Sciences at the University of Utah, which recognizes and supports his programs in human genetics. Among the many honors Dr. Capecchi has received are the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research in 1992, the 1994 General Motors Corporation's Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., Prize in cancer research, and the 1996 Kyoto Laureate Prize, Japan's highest award for lifetime achievement.