Who is Nobel Prize winner Svante Paabo? Know about Swedish geneticist who sequenced the first Neanderthal genome

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, October 03, 2022, 04:55 PM IST
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Swedish genetecist Svante Pääbo, |

Svante Paabo, a Swedish geneticist has been awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology 2022 for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution. The award-giving organisation made the announcement today.

"The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Svante Paabo for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution," read the Nobel Prize statement.

Here's all you need to know about Svante Paabo:

Born 20 April 1955, Svante is a Swedish geneticist specialising in the field of evolutionary genetics and a Nobel Prize laureate.[3] As one of the founders of paleogenetics, he has worked extensively on the Neanderthal genome. He was appointed the director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, in 1997.

He is also professor at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan.

In 2022, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution"

Paabo's early life and education:

Paabo was born in Stockholm and grew up with his mother, Estonian chemist Karin Paabo. His father was biochemist Sune Bergstro, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Bengt I. Samuelsson and John R. Vane in 1982. Paabo has via his father one brother, Rurik Reenstierna, who was also born in 1955.

He earned his PhD from Uppsala University in 1986 for research investigating how the E19 protein of adenoviruses modulates the immune system.

Some of his researches:

Paabo is known as one of the founders of paleogenetics, a discipline that uses the methods of genetics to study early humans and other ancient populations. In 1997, Paabo and colleagues reported their successful sequencing of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), originating from a specimen found in Feldhofer grotto in the Neander valley.

In August 2002, his department published findings about the "language gene", FOXP2, which is lacking or damaged in some individuals with language disabilities.

In 2006, he announced a plan to reconstruct the entire genome of Neanderthals. In 2007, he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of the year.

In 2020, Pääbo determined that more severe impacts upon victims including the relative incidence of the necessity of hospitalization requirements, and vulnerability to the COVID-19 disease has been associated via DNA analysis to be expressed in genetic variants at chromosomal region 3, features that are associated with European Neanderthal heritage. That structure imposes greater risks that those affected will develop a more severe form of the disease. The findings are from Pääbo and researchers he leads at the Planck Institute and the Karolinska Institutet.

As of 2021, Paabo has an h-index of 162 according to Google Scholar and of 127 according to Scopus.

(with agency inputs)

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