WORCESTER, MA—Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy congratulated the University of Massachusetts Worcester’s Craig Mello who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine. Mello is being honored for his work in turning off the effect of certain genes. Senator Kennedy’s remarks at the press conference held today in Worcester are below.“What a great day this is for Craig Mello. I join all of you in congratulating him for this extraordinary honor, and for his pioneering research on the role of RNA in human genetics. In a sense, he joins Watson and Crick as the founding fathers of molecular genetic research and its immense potential. Dr. Mello’s brilliant work has opened up extraordinary opportunities for the discovery of new therapies for cancer, infectious disease, heart disease, and many other serious illnesses. I also commend UMass President Jack Wilson and Dean Aaron Lazare of the medical school for their leadership. Massachusetts is leading the way in this new century of the life sciences, and today’s announcement is another recognition of our leadership. It’s vital that we keep our investment in medical research strong. It is leading not only to breakthroughs in basic sciences, but to a dynamic biotechnology sector as well. Today's announcement is eminently well-deserved recognition of the extraordinary role of UMass in medicine and research. People across the nation and around the world will now know what we have long realized – that world-class research doesn't stop when you leave Cambridge or Boston. Our entire Commonwealth is leading the way.” -30-

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