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Hopkins' Peter Agre receives 2003 Nobel Prize in chemistry

r Peter and a tremendous day for the Hopkins community," adds Chi Dang, M.D., vice dean for research at Johns Hopkins. "The prize is not only a recognition of the important discoveries on how materials are transferred into and out of cells, but it also symbolic - in the case of Peter Agre - of being rewarded for a job superbly done with great depth, without fanfare. This should be an encouragement for the young scientists that persistence and dedication will yield the joy of discoveries and occasionally, fringe benefits. It also highlights that the prepared mind can turn serendipity, as in the case of the discovery of water channels, into a paradigm breaking moment."

William R Brody, M.D., Ph.D., president of the Johns Hopkins University, adds: "The world-wide Johns Hopkins community joins with the school of medicine in congratulating peter for his laboratory's great achievement."

Since a 1992 paper in Science by Agre and Hopkins physiologist Bill Guggino, Ph.D., which documented the discovery of the very first water channel protein, 10 more have been found in mammals, and hundreds more in plants, bacteria and other forms of life. In Agre's lab alone, aquaporins have been discovered to be part of the blood-brain barrier and also associated with critical water transport in skeletal muscle, lung and kidney. Members of Agre's lab also have found aquaporins in the eye and in salivary and tear glands. Researchers around the world now study aquaporins in many species of plants, bacteria and animals, and have linked aberrant water transport to a multitude of human diseases and conditions.

"I am so pleased that Peter has been recognized for his outstanding work on aquaporins," says Gerald Hart, Ph.D., director of biological chemistry, the division housing Agre's laboratory. "He has been part of the Johns Hopkins family for more than 20 years, and we just couldn't be prouder."

The discovery of aquaporin is an example of luck favoring the wel
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Contact: Joanna Downer
jdowner1@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
8-Oct-2003


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