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Scientist honored by Franklin Institute

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

A local professor is being honored alongside figures from the fields of science and technology, including software and philanthropy titan Bill Gates. The group is being announced Monday as winners of the annual Franklin Institute awards.


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Peter Nowell is an Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s receiving a medal in Life Science for discovering that leukemia is caused by a genetic mutation.

Nowell: This triggered the whole field that shows all leukimias and cancers result from mutations, genetic changes in one of our cells that allows the offspring – the progeny of that cell – to grow abnormally. That’s the good news. The bad news is that each different leukemia, each different cancer has a different kind of mutation.

Past Franklin Institute Awards winners include Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Jane Goodall – famous for her work with gorillas.

This year’s award winners will participate in a series of educational events open to students and the general public next April.

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