We would like to congratulate Roderick MacKinnon '78 on receiving the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. MacKinnon, who graduated from Brandeis magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry with high honors, was honored with this career-defining award for revealing the process of electrical signaling in humans and other organisms. Dr. Peter Agre, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, shares this prize with MacKinnon.In 1986, after earning a medical degree from Tufts University, MacKinnon started working in the lab of his undergraduate mentor, Professor Christopher Miller (BCHM). In 1989, MacKinnon began an independent research career at Harvard Medical School until his move to Rockefeller University in New York in 1996, where he became a professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics.

MacKinnon's more recent work studying how water and charged atoms flow into and out of living cells could lead to a better understanding and potential treatments for diseases like cystic fibrosis, epilepsy and heart arrhythmia, according to an Oct. 9 New York Times article.

The Brandeis community should be proud of the accomplishments of its alumni. As a young research university, Brandeis' alumni have made great strides in our modern world. Learning in one of the world's most respected universities, we too will have the tools necessary to hopefully make a difference in this world.