*First Posted on the Cambridge University’s Biological Anthropology Society by Seth Chagi”
Born to who would become a Nobel Prize Winner for Physiology and Medicine in 1955, in Stockholm, Sweden, Svante Paabo would live a life filled with scientific excellence. Excellence has touched every aspect of the work, teams, and projects that he has been involved with.
Doing most of his studies, and graduating from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, Dr. Paabo would go on to work for various consortiums and organizations, bringing his expertise with him wherever he went; currently, and for a reasonable amount of time now, the Director of Evolutionary Sciences at the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Studies, we are all very excited and proud for Svante that he has been named the 2022 Physiology and Medicine Nobel Prize winner.
If it has ever occurred, it is not often that a paleontologist has won a Nobel prize. There is not even an appropriate category for his work, so he has won the award for Medicine and Physiology as his father did. A fact that has only happened eight times in all of Nobel history.
Possibly what Dr. Paabo is known best for is the discovery of the Neanderthal genome and the presence of ancient DNA. Opening up a whole new world of molecular studies into early hominins has led to significant insights into modern-day medicine.
We have learned much from Dr. Paabo’s labs about ourselves and our closest relatives, the Neanderthals. Even more than this, Svante is the first paleontologist to discover a new hominin species entirely from DNA and near no fossil evidence, the Denisovans. There are not enough fossils to declare it a separate species, but we have been able to map out their genome, telling us so much about this enigmatic species.
I could go on about the outstanding achievements of this man, and for good measure, you should look into some of the other papers and work that he has done, for there is just so much. What this means for science and the paleontological community is staggering. It forwards our place in the fields and will hopefully lead to the inspiration of so many more.
While I have not had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Paabo yet, I plan to get him on my web show, “The Story of Us,” at some point or another. I look forward to it, for I hear a humble, fun, and inspiring individual.
Congratulations to Dr. Paabo and all of the fantastic work he has done and is yet to do.