Geisinger Commonwealth scientist's research 'key' to Nobel Prize in Medicine

William Zehring, Ph.D., contributed to research that led to the Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded Oct. 2 to three U.S. researchers

Related Media

SCRANTON, PA (10/12/2017) SCRANTON -- A professor at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth) contributed to research that led to the Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded Oct. 2 to three U.S. researchers. The prize was awarded to Jeffrey Hall at the University of Maine, Michael Rosbash at Brandeis University and Michael Young at the Rockefeller University for their decades-long work on the circadian clock.

A scientific article published in the journal Cell, listing William Zehring, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry at Geisinger Commonwealth, as first author, was recognized as a "key publication" by the Nobel Prize committee. The article cited was P-element transformation with period locus DNA restores rhythmicity to mutant arrhythmic Drosophila melanogaster. The article identified a specific portion of the fruit fly's DNA that controls rhythmic behaviors analogous to sleep and wakefulness, among others. This research was a critical step in verifying that scientists were working with the correct DNA sequence that restored rhythmicity to fruit flies lacking that capability due to a genetic mutation.

Dr. Zehring resides in Mountaintop.

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth) is a member of the Geisinger family. Geisinger Commonwealth offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Doylestown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) degrees. The college's innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its 17-county region in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania, as well as from across the state and the nation. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit