Biologist Mario Capecchi and Chemist Joseph DeSimone received the 2002 John Scott Awards at a ceremony in Philadelphia today.

The John Scott Award to Mario Capecchi, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Utah, recognizes his work in successfully targeting specific genes by homologous recombination. This allows precise changes to be made to selected genes and enabled the subsequent development of 'knockout' mice.

Bob Perry at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, USA, said of Capecchi's work, "It is very important to recognize how powerful a tool this technology is. Knockout mice are routinely used in hundreds, if not thousands of labs worldwide, and have enabled great advances to be made in the field of mouse development and, by extrapolation, human development studies."

Capecchi has been awarded many prizes, including the 2001 Lasker Award, but according to Perry the John Scott Award is, "in some...

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