Monday, October 08, 2007

Mario Capecchi's Journey - From Street Kid to Nobel Winner

He was four years old when his mother was sent off to a German concentration camp for being critical of the Nazis. He roamed the streets of Italy, finally ending up in an orphanage. His mother survived the concentration camp and was released in 1946 when the Americans liberated Dachau. She then set out to find her son and searched for him for a year and a half. She found him and the two of them got on a ship and sailed to America.

"The vision of America at that time...I was literally expecting the roads to be paved with gold. What I found, actually, was just opportunity."

What a story! Just filled me with sheer delight. And what a line - "What I found, actually, was just opportunity"!

Watch this ABC News video in which he recounts the story.

By the way, the 2007 Medicine Nobel was awarded today to Martin Evans of Cardiff University in Wales, Mario Capecchi of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Utah, and Oliver Smithies of the University of North Carolina for "work now enables researchers worldwide to create "designer mice" that have transformed the study of human disease."

Updated to add these two links to thoughtful essays:

A Nancy Gibbs essay from Time Magazine (Oct 22 issue); and

This post from Under the Banyan Tree (thanks Poppin's Mom!).


sidddd said...

Woow what a story... And also she struggled one year for her child... And yeah this is my blog.Can you please exchange links with me... coz i love your blog

Anonymous said...


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- Amar

Sunita Venkatachalam said...

Hey what a coincidence, I just read another nice post about this man here..

Sujatha Bagal said...

Sidd, Amar, thanks for your comments.

P, thanks for the link to UTBT's blog. Really enjoyed reading it.

Sunshine, you're right - it's fascinating and troubling at the same time. Thanks for commenting.