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First Minister hails Nobel Prize boost for Wales

29 Tachwedd 2007

Welsh Assembly Government First Minister Rhodri Morgan has paid tribute to Professor Sir Martin Evans at a special dinner in honour of his winning the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

The First Minister was among around 100 guests who had travelled from throughout the UK and worldwide for the celebratory event hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant, at the University.

The First Minister said it was difficult to overstate the significance to Wales of Sir Martin’s achievement in winning the Nobel.

"We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Sir Martin in helping to put Wales and Welsh science on the map," said the First Minister.

"When we speak to people worldwide about science and the opportunities we can offer they do not always know a lot about Wales. But they do know what a Nobel Laureate is and they do know about the outstanding quality of science it takes to win one.

"Cardiff University has not one but two Nobel Prize winners on its staff and that is a fantastic boost to science in Wales."

Mr Morgan said that Wales had great potential to become a major science hub in Europe and he urged all universities in Wales to build on their existing strengths.

Sir Martin, of the School of Biosciences, thanked guests, who included many co-publishers and collaborators. He said: "This room is filled with people who have helped me enormously to publish the science in which I’m involved."

Sir Martin’s discoveries allow scientists to investigate the effects of individual genes in causing disease and is now use in fields as diverse as cancer, diabetes, arthritis and Parkinson’s Disease. The Nobel Assembly said of his work: "Its impact on the understanding of gene function and its benefits to mankind will continue to increase over many years to come." Sir Martin will receive the Prize, which he shares with two US-based reseachers, Professors Mario Capecchi and Oliver Smithies, in Stockholm next month.