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Little Falls Native Wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Posted at: 10/10/2012 6:33 PM
Updated at: 10/11/2012 7:38 AM
By: Mitch Pittman

Charles Lindburgh needs to make some room; Little Falls, Minn., has a new hero. On Wednesday we learned that Dr. Brian Kobilka, who was raised in Little Falls, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Kobilka is currently a professor at Stanford University, and shares the award with a former colleague at Duke University for their work on proteins.

Wednesday at Little Falls High School, three of Kobilka's former science teachers gathered to share in the good news.

"If you wanted a perfect student, you're looking at him right there," said Gary Irwin, who taught biology to Kobilka. "Never any problems, always very studious."

Kobilka graduated from Little Falls High School in 1973 and enrolled at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he roomed freshman year with fellow Little Falls graduate John Nagel.

"He was very bright, but also he was the kind that he didn't put it in your face," said Nagel. "Very modest, didn't consider himself bright, quite honestly."

KSTP reached Kobilka's sister by phone Wednesday, who said the family is very proud.