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Peter Agre, Augsburg graduate, wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

October 8, 2003

Peter Agre, '70 alumni, in a scince lab speaking with a student.Peter Agre, a 1970 graduate of Augsburg College, has won the 2003 Nobel Prize in chemistry. He shares the honor with American Roderick MacKinnon.

Agre, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore discovered the "channels" that let water pass in and out of cells. The discovery represents a major breakthrough and has led to a greater understanding of many inherited and acquired water balance disorders, such as kidney disease.

Agre received a B.A. in chemistry from Augsburg College in 1970. He went on to receive his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University and became a faculty member in the department of medicine in 1984. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Augsburg College in 1995.

"The Chemistry Department is elated at this news," said Arlin Gyberg, Augsburg chemistry professor. Gyberg had Agre in class and also taught along with his father, the late Courtland Agre, who taught chemistry at Augsburg from 1959 to the mid-'70's and served as department chair from 1959-68.

"Those of us who had Peter as a student are not surprised he has reached this level. It's no shock that he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry."