Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences

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03.06.2024 16:25
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ANAS hosted a special meeting of the General Assembly dedicated to the Nobel Prize laureate Aziz Sancar

ANAS hosted a special meeting of the General Assembly dedicated to the Nobel Prize laureate Aziz Sancar

A special meeting of ANAS was held in the Great Assembly Hall of the Presidium of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences on May 3. The event was dedicated to the meeting with the Nobel Prize laureate, honorary member of ANAS, the Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Aziz Sancar.  

The president of ANAS, academician Isa Habibbeyli, president of the International Turkic Academy, academician Shahin Mustafayev, chairman of the Supreme Attestation Commission Famil Mustafayev, chairman of the Azerbaijan Writers’ Union, People’s writer Anar, chairman of the Azerbaijan Press Council Rashad Majid, ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Turkey to Azerbaijan Cahit Bagci, parliamentarians, members of the Presidium of ANAS, active and corresponding members of ANAS, directors of the scientific institutions and organizations of ANAS, rectors of the higher education institutions, young scientists and mass media representatives participated in the meeting.

Opening of the Hall of Fame of Aziz Sancar at ANAS-TÜBİTAK Coordination Center located in the Presidium building of ANAS was held before the meeting. Aziz Sancar wrote his heartfelt words in the Memory Book of the Center.

Then the guests got acquainted with the exhibition of paintings authored by the employees of ANAS.

The president of ANAS, academician Isa Habibbeyli made a speech at the meeting. He said that Nobel Prize laureate Aziz Sancar met with the scientists, young researchers, teachers and students during his visit to Azerbaijan at the invitation of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. According to the academician, the distinguished guest visited the main building of ANAS, Central Scientific Library, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnologies of the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Baku State University, Nakhchivan State University and Nakhchivan Division of ANAS.

Academician Isa Habibbeyli spoke about life of Aziz Sancar. He noted that Aziz Sancar was born in 1946, in Mardin, Turkey, received his early and secondary education here, and graduated from the İstanbul Faculty of Medicine in 1969.

The academician noted that Aziz Sancar earned his PhD in molecular and cell biology from UT Dallas, and conducted researches on Mechanisms of DNA Repair damaged by ultraviolet (UV) light.

Aziz Sancar worked at the Yale and Harvard universities and since 1997, he had been working at Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. The academician underlined that Aziz Sancar researched cancer treatment possibilities using biological and biochemical methods and was a founder of that direction. 

In 2005 Aziz Sancar was the first Turkish scientist, living in America, who was elected a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and in 2006 he was elected an active member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences. Aziz Sancar was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his mechanistic studies of DNA repair together with two other scientists.

The academician reminded the words of Aziz Sancar: “It is the education revolution of Atatürk and the Republic of Turkey that took me to the award. Therefore, the owner of this award is the Anıtkabir Museum of Atatürk, which represents the Republic of Turkey”. Isa Habibbeyli said that Aziz Sancar delivered the Nobel Prize to the Anıtkabir Museum. 

The president of ANAS noted that Aziz Sancar was a great friend of Azerbaijan, and President Ilham Aliyev met with him for three times. The academician highlighted the services of the rector of Azerbaijan State Economic University, Professor Adalat Muradov and his advisor Elshan Bagirzade in the establishment and development of the relations of Aziz Sancar with our country. He added that Aziz Sancar was deeply connected to the Turkic World and always wanted to see its unity. Academician Isa Habibbeyli said that Professor Aziz Sancar supported the Victory of Azerbaijan in Karabakh describing it as the second great victory of the Turkic World after the Turkish War of Independence.

Academician Isa Habibbeyli said that Aziz Sancar was awarded “A Gold Medal of Azerbaijan Republic named after Nizami Ganjavi” during “A Year of Nizami Ganjavi” and was elected an honorary member of ANAS at the General Assembly of ANAS on November 29, 2023.   

Then, Academician Isa Habibbeyli presented an honorary member diploma and a medal of ANAS to Nobel Prize laureate Aziz Sancar. A carpet depicting the Khari Bulbul flower was also presented to the distinguished guest.

The chairman of the People’s Writer Anar welcomed the honored guest and the participants on behalf of the Writers’ Union of Azerbaijan, spoke about several historical meetings organized in the Great Assembly Hall of the Presidium of ANAS. The People’s Writer noted that they had witnessed another historical meeting with world-famous scientist Aziz Sancar. The writer invited Aziz Sancar to visit the Writers’ Union of Azerbaijan.

The director of the Institute of Chemistry of Additives of the Ministry of Science and Education made a speech at the meeting. He spoke about the scientific relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey as well as the main role of Aziz Sancar in the development of bilateral cooperation.

After the speeches, Professor Aziz Sancar reported on the theme “Science Policy of the Turkic World: Realities and Challenges”. Aziz Sancar noted that science should benefit people and civilization. He touched upon the methods of organization of scientific activity and the advancement of scientific relations in the Turkic World. 

“My dream is to see the unity of the Turkic World” –he said.  The Professor mentioned that he visited all Turkic states and held relevant meetings for that reason.

Nobel Prize Laureate voiced his recommendations regarding the identification of scientific priorities, ensuring equal educational opportunities for boys and girls, implementing theoretical principles into practice and fostering encouragement among the scientists. 

Then, academician-secretary of ANAS, academician Arif Hashimov spoke about the draft decision of the General Assembly of ANAS. Academician Arif Hashimov said that by the decision of the Presidium of ANAS Aziz Sancar was awarded Honorary Certificate of ANAS.

Then, Academician Isa Habibbeyli presented an Honorary Certificate of ANAS to Aziz Sancar for his contributions to the development of Azerbaijan science and the strengthening of relations among the Turkic World countries.

Academician Govhar Bakhshaliyeva and corresponding member of ANAS Veli Guseynov made their proposals at the meeting.

Making a speech at the end of the meeting, academician Isa Habibbeyli underlined that the special event was a new page in Azerbaijan-Turkey relations, and would contribute to ensure the unity of the Turkic World.

Translator: Reyhan Majidli, Public Relations, Press and Information Department of the Presidium Administration of ANAS

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