COLUMBIA, Mo. – A University of Missouri professor has been awarded a Nobel Prize. The 2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry is shared by three people including Mizzou’s own Dr. George P. Smith. It’s the first time a professor at Mizzou, doing research on campus, has won such a prestigious award.
Dr. George Smith was greeted warmly by students as he arrived for an afternoon news conference which included a standing ovation. He said he got the phone call from Sweden early Wednesday morning. He thought it could be a joke.
"A standard prank in science, your friends take on a fake Swedish accent and call you up at 4:30 in the morning, this is the Swedish Royal Academy of Science, you won,” said Dr. Smith.
The call was indeed real. He and two other scientists, one from California and the other from England, will share the award.
“I’m getting an honor that was earned by a whole bunch of other people,” Dr. Smith said.
Smith created a process that helped develop new drugs that are currently being used to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. He was humble about all of the sick people he’s help around the world.
“I was not smart enough to anticipate what would come out of this research I had a narrower view than I have now,” Smith said.
Mizzou students are proud to study on a campus which is also home to a Nobel Prize winner.
“This is a very good thing this is a very delightful thing actually,” said Depika Mohanty, Mizzou student. “It shows how good our institution is and we have excellent teachers here,” said Catherine August, Mizzou student.
He’s expected to receive $250,000 in prize money. He plans to donate the money.