1999 Beberman Award Winner: Hamilton O. Smith

Nobel Prize Winner Hamilton O. Smith, M.D. received the 1999 Max Beberman Distinguished Alumni Award. Smith was a microbiologist who was on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University from 1967 to 1998. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1978 for his role in discovering restriction enzymes, chemicals which turned out to be the tools scientists needed to cut and graft pieces of DNA. The discovery is credited with revolutionizing the field of genetic research. After graduating from Uni a year early in 1948, Smith did his undergraduate work at the University of Illinois and the University of California at Berkeley. He earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins in 1956. By the time he returned to Johns Hopkins in 1967 as a faculty member, his interests had shifted to the field of genetics. Although he retired from the university in 1998, Smith is still active as a researcher - to put it mildly. As senior director of DNA resources at the biotech company Celera Genomics, he and president Craig Venter are leading an effort to sequence the human genome, described by The Baltimore Sun as "one of history's most ambitious scientific efforts."

Congratulations Mr. Smith, the 1999 Max Beberman Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

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