03 November 2015 Blogs, Academic, Community College, Faculty, Librarian, Student/Researcher

2015 Nobel Prize Dissertations – Part 1

Each year’s announcement of the Nobel Prize winners provides a fascinating glimpse into the content in ProQuest Dissertation & Theses Global

Congratulations to the 2015 Nobel Prize Winners!

Each year’s announcement of the Nobel Prize winners provides a fascinating glimpse into the content in ProQuest Dissertation & Theses Global. This year, four Nobel Prize winners have their dissertations in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database Global.

The 2015 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich, and Aziz Sancar, who, working independently, established “Mechanistic studies of DNA repair.” Every day our DNA is assaulted by UV radiation, carcinogens, cell division, and other changes. Why don’t we collapse into a puddle of goop?

In the 1970s Lindahl discovered the process of “excision repair”, where enzymes are continually working to repair DNA and protect it from damage. This helped establish the vocabulary of DNA repair and earn the Nobel Prize.

Sancar, who began his career as a physician, was fascinated with DNA molecules, and with the effects of different types of light on bacteria. In his dissertation “A Study of Photoreactivating Enzyme (DNA Photolyase) of Escherichia Coli,” he began the journey of investigating DNA repair that would eventually lead to his Nobel award.

From the beginning of his academic career, Paul Modrich studied enzymes and their effect on DNA. His dissertation “Structure, Mechanism and Biological of E. Coli DNA Ligase” laid the groundwork for studying additional enzymes, eventually leading to identifying a process called mismatch repair, which would lead to his Nobel Prize.

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is shared by three people who revolutionized the treatment of parasitic diseases. William C. Campbell, together with Satoshi Omura, turned to nature looking for a treatment to combat the parasitic diseases River Blindness and Lymphatic Filliriasis. Omura isolated and reproduced an anti-body producing bacteria in the soil of Japan. Campbell took these cultures and they worked together to develop a drug from the bacteria called Ivermectin. Campbell began his study of parasites decades earlier, publishing his dissertation “Fascioloides Magna (Trematoda) with Special Reference to the Adult in Relation to Disease,” in 1957.

Angus Deaton, world-renowned economist, is the winner of this year’s 2015 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences. Studying the consumer is central to his decades-long career, something apparent from the beginnings of his scholarship with his dissertation “Models of consumer demand and their application to the United Kingdom.” This focus on the consumer expanded, leading to his Nobel Prize “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare”.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

* Note: To view the dissertations in this post you must have access to ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global through a library.