“His whole life was devoted to science both as a profession, his vocation, but it was also his hobby, avocation as well,” said Dr. Charles Jennette, chairperson of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine, who has known Smithies for about 30 years.
The distinguished professor of pathology and laboratory medicine passed away on Tuesday at 91 after a short illness.
“Well of course it’s a great loss for Oliver to pass away, but he’s left a tremendous legacy here that will continue and a research program that will be continued by his wife and other faculty,” Jennette said.
Smithies won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2007 for his work targeting genetic modification of cells. He also developed the gel electrophoresis technique which allows scientists to better study blood cells. He receive a doctoral degree from Oxford University, and Jennette said he has spent 70 years as a scientist.