Wellcome Trust reaction to Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Director Jeremy Farrar and Deputy Chair Professor Dame Kay Davies comment on the news that the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Tomas Lindahl from the Francis Crick Institute.

Dr Lindahl shares the Prize with Paul Modrich from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University School of Medicine, and Aziz Sancar from the University of North Carolina for their work on mapping, at a molecular level, how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard genetic information. Their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new cancer treatments.

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "Tomas Lindahl is a brilliant scientist whose work has been hugely important to our understanding of how cells work. Him winning the Nobel Prize shows the great impact of sustained support for excellent science and importance of international collaboration. It’s fantastic news for the Francis Crick Institute, for Cancer Research UK and yet again demonstrates the strength of UK science. Congratulations to Tomas, and to Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar."

Professor Dame Kay Davies, University of Oxford and Deputy Chair of the Wellcome Trust, said: "It’s wonderful to see basic science recognised by today’s announcement. Tomas Lindahl’s work into DNA repair, which is such a fundamental process, has had a major impact on many diseases. I’m thrilled that this has been honoured!"

The Crick is a landmark partnership between the UK's three largest funders of biomedical research – the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust – and three of its leading universities (UCL, Imperial College London and King's College London).