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Inside The Dallas-Trained Brain That Won A Nobel

Steve Fisch
Dr. Thomas Südhof, who won a Nobel prize this week, spent 25 years at UT Southwestern in Dallas."

This week’s Nobel Prizeshad a distinct twang. Three North Texas universities had small roles in the project that won the physics medal – and the winner of the Nobel for Medicine spent 25 years at UT Southwestern in Dallas. Dr. Thomas Südhof took a break in his whirlwind week for our Friday Conversation.

Interview Highlights

On How He Learned He'd Won: "That was one of the most unusual moments of my life. I was traveling, driving a rental car after a sleepless night on a plane, in the middle of Spain and trying to find a place, getting slightly cranky... When I got the phone call, I thought it was somebody else, so my mood obviously improved... I was surprised beyond imagination."

On His Work's Impact On Alzheimer's Research: "What my work has done is shed light on how synapses work. And by doing that, it has allowed progress in probing why the synapses don't work as well in Alzheimer's disease, and thus has enabled a better understanding of the disease."

On His Time In Dallas: "There are many images that immediately come up. One is the summer heat-filled empty streets -- which, honestly, has its own charm."

Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.