George P. Smith wins 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

George P. Smith

Story by Sara Diedrich

Dr. George P. Smith was already awake and walking to the kitchen for a cup of coffee Wednesday morning when the phone rang. It was 4:30 a.m., too early for a casual conversation.

On the other end of the crackling line was a call from Stockholm telling him he was among a trio of researchers that The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences had awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

For a moment, the 77-year-old Curators Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri thought the call was a prank, a common spoof among scientist friends. But the line was too scratchy to be anything but real.