1993 – Dr. Michael Smith’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry

British-born Canadian biochemist Michael Smith was an innovator in field of site-directed mutagenesis. In 1993, Michael Smith and Kerry Mullis were recipients of the Nobel Prize, “for his fundamental contributions to the establishment of oligonucleotide-based, site-directed mutagenesis and its development for protein studies”.

This biochemical method allows scientists to take fragments of DNA and create a targeted change that gets inserted into a plasmid (chromosomal DNA molecule). Scientists have used site-directed mutagenesis to research gene therapy for diseases such as cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell disease, hemophilia, and cancer.