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In the life of a person, the role of the teacher is of vital importance

Ljubljana, 9. 9. 2014 | press release

The Slovenian President today received Prof Oliver Smithies who, in 2007, along with Mario R. Capecchi and Sir Martin J. Evans, received the Nobel prize for the discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells. Today, the professor works at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Slovenian President Borut Pahor receives Prof Oliver Smithies from the University of North Carolina
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

In a discussion with the Slovenian President, Prof Smithies stressed how important it was to encourage younger generations to learn and undertake research, to be enthusiastic about skills and knowledge, and to allow them to be curious, to ask and express their thoughts. They both agreed that teachers were important in the lives of young people. They both pointed out that a key role in the development of each individual was played by educational institutions and teachers.

Prof Smithies, along with his wife Nobuya Maeda, herself a distinguished scientist, came to Slovenia at the invitation of the Jožef Stefan Institute. He will visit the Laboratory of Biophysics, the Condensed Matter Physics Department and will also deliver a lecture entitled "Where do ideas come from?” In his lecture, the professor will illustrate where he got the ideas for his work, especially in his younger days, and why his findings are important. Prof Smithies has also worked successfully on cystic fibrosis, the most common genetic disease, and has contributed significantly to the development of starch-gel electrophoresis.