News & Messages

Message from Chancellor Folt: ‘A tremendous gift’

Dear Campus Community:

I am saddened today to share the news that our cherished colleague and friend, Dr. Oliver Smithies, has passed away at the age of 91. Oliver was Carolina’s first full-time faculty member to be awarded a Nobel Prize (2007). You can learn more about his groundbreaking work and amazing scientific discoveries that opened new doors to understanding diseases and creating breakthrough treatments by visiting

Here at Carolina and around the world, Oliver is being remembered as a loving, wonderful force for all things good. A kind and humble man, Oliver was a precious gift who always delighted us with his views on science while he captured our love with his infectious sense of humor and warm personality.

One of my fondest memories will always be a lunch I had with Oliver and his wife, Dr. Nobuyo Maeda, a fellow faculty member and distinguished researcher. I was uplifted and inspired by their relationship, joyful attitude about life and generosity of spirit.

As we celebrate and remember a wonderful person who meant so much to so many, I encourage everyone to reflect upon Dr. Oliver Smithies’ amazing contributions to our world and appreciate what a tremendous gift he was to all of us.


Carol L. Folt