Aziz Sancar: Biography, Age, Wife, Daughter, and Net worth

Aziz Sancar is a famous Turkish-American molecular biologist. He is renowned for his contribution to the discovery of nucleotide excision repair. This is a process whereby cells repair damage caused by U.V. light exposure.

Aziz Sancar studies DNA repair, cell cycle checkpoints, and circadian clocks. In 2015, alongside Tomas Lindahl and Paul Modrich, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry due to their mechanistic studies in DNA repair.

Summary about Aziz Sancar biography

Full nameAziz Sancar
Date of birth8 September 1946
Place of birthSavur, Mardin Province, Southeastern Turkey
Age as of 2024 77 years old
ResidenceChapel Hill, Carolina, USA
NationalityTurkish, American
Relationship statusMarried
WifeGwen Boles Sancar
ChildrenRose Lorraine Peifer
Hair colourBlack
Eye colourBrown
Net worth$1 million – $7 million
ProfessionMolecular biologist, lecturer
Birth signVirgo

Aziz Sancar biography

The molecular biologist was born Aziz Sancar in Savur, Mardin Province, Southeastern Turkey, to Abdulgani and Maryem Sancar. His father was a farmer, while his mother was a homemaker. He was raised alongside his seven siblings, including Hassan, Kenan, Orhan, Seyran Yildiz Edibe, and Tahir. His older brother, Kenan, is a retired brigadier general in the Turkish Armed Forces.

Aziz Sancar age

Aziz Sancar is 77 years old as of February 2024. He was born on 8 September 1946 in Turkey. He celebrates his birthday on 8 September every year. His birth sign is Virgo.

Aziz Sancar education

Despite his parents being illiterate, they put great emphasis on Aziz Sancar education. He attended a local primary school in Savur for his preliminary studies. He was always at the top of his class and participated in various sports including football. He had his high school education in Mardin.

Sancar later enrolled at Istanbul University to study medicine. He graduated with an M.D. in 1969 before returning to Savur, where he practiced medicine. In 1973, he joined the University of Texas in Dallas, USA, to study molecular biology before graduating with a Ph.D. in 1977.

Aziz Sancar net worth

Sancar’s net worth is alleged to be between $1 million and 7 million. His wealth is a culmination of his varied career as a professional biologist, lecturer, and researcher.


After completing his M.D., he worked as a doctor in Savur and surrounding regions before moving abroad to study for his PhD. In 1976, in his dissertation papers, he replicated the gene for photolyase, an enzyme that repairs thymine dimers from U.V. light damage.

In July 1977, he joined Yale University as a lab technician at Dr Rupp’s lab. While at Yale, he could clone uvrA, uvrB, and uvrC genes. This led to his discovery of the uvrABC enzyme’s excision repair function in E.coli.

In 1981, he became a lecturer at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was later named the Sarah Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. While at UNC-CH, he worked on photolysis, specialising in identifying the chromophore and solving action mechanisms.

In the early 2000s, with his research team, he discovered Period and Cryptochrome genes that keep the circadian clocks of all human cells in proper rhythm.

Sancar was an elected member of multiple academies. For instance, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004 and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2005). The following year, he was elected to the Turkish Academy of Sciences.

Aziz won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Tomas Lindahl and Paul L. Modrich for their mechanistic studies of DNA repair. He also received the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation in Molecular Biophysics in 1984.

Aziz Sancar wife

The Turkish scientist is married to his wife, Gwen Boles Sancar. Gwen Boles is a professor of biochemistry and Biophysics at the UNC-Ch. Sancar met his wife during his PhD studies at the University of Texas, where she studied molecular biology. The couple got married in 1978. They have a daughter named Rose Lorraine Peifer.

Sancar and his wife founded Carolina Turk Evi. It is a permanent Turkish center near the UNC-CH campus that offers housing for Turkish researchers at the University and short-term guest services for visiting Turkish scholars. Carolina Turk Evi also promotes Turkish-American exchanges.


  • He belongs to the Arabic ethnicity.
  • He follows the Muslim faith.
  • His siblings include Hassan, Orhan, Seyran Yildiz Edibe and Tahir.
  • He is married to Gwen Boles Sancar.
  • Aziz was born on 8 September 1946.


Aziz Sancar is a renowned Turkish American molecular biologist. He is famous for his contribution to the discovery of nucleotide excision repair, a process whereby cells repair damage caused by U.V. light exposure. He won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Tomas Lindahl and Paul L. Modrich for their mechanistic studies of DNA repair.

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