Mac’s Nobel connection


This year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine has a Macalester connection. Biology professor Mary Montgomery was a post-doctoral assistant to Andrew Fire and Craig Mellow when they published their winning research paper on RNA interference. Montgomery co-wrote the paper, which was published in 1998.

Montgomery has received her fair share of recognition within the Twin Cities. A Pioneer Press article on Wednesday highlighted Montgomery’s contribution to the winning research paper.

According to the article, Montgomery worked in Fire’s Baltimore lab injecting worms. Fire and Mello’s work is now used by scientists researching treatments for diabetes and Parkinson’s, the Pioneer Press reported.

Montgomery told the paper that she was “initially skeptical” about the research, but later found the project highly compelling.

“All of a sudden, I had this project where every day I was getting an interesting result. It just motivates you to work crazy hours,” she told a Pioneer Press reporter.

Montgomery has worked as an Assistant Professor in the Biology department at Macalester since 1998. She was specializing in Developmental Biology when she worked with Fire. Her course offerings at Macalester range from Genetics to Biotechnology and Society.