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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 16, 2008


Two Fulbright Alumni Receive 2008 Nobel Prizes

The Department of State commends two Fulbright Program alumni, Dr. Osamu Shimomura of Japan and Mr. Jean-Marie Le Clézio of France, recipients of this year’s Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and Literature, respectively. Dr. Shimomura received a Fulbright scholarship in 1960 to conduct research at Princeton University. Mr. Le Clézio was awarded a Fulbright in 1979 to teach at the University of California - Santa Cruz.

“It would have been impossible to do anything without Fulbright,” said Dr. Shimomura, whose research in the United States led to the isolation of a protein that has become one of the most important tools in contemporary bioscience. In addition to his scientific work, Dr. Shimomura said that his Fulbright scholarship allowed him to get to know many things about the United States and its people.

Dr. Shimomura and Mr. Le Clézio are the 38th and 39th Fulbright alumni to receive Nobel Prizes. Other recent Fulbright alumni who have received Nobels include Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, and Leonid Hurwicz of the United States, 2007 Nobel Laureate in Economics.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 286,000 participants from over 155 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

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Released on October 16, 2008

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