Nobel Prize sends important message to this community

A couple of weeks ago, this area burst with pride over the announcement that Little Falls native Brian Kobilka had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

As awards go, the Nobel Prize is about as lofty as they get. The recipients are generally people who have changed history in some way. What was especially gratifying for this area is that news stories revealed that Kobilka is exceptionally grounded. He has not forgotten where his roots are nor his family, childhood friends and the community that helped him become the man he is today.

This, in turn, sends an important message to every young person now growing up in Morrison County. It has been 85 years since Little Falls native Charles Lindbergh gained worldwide fame by making the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Since then, other county natives, such as Pierz’ John Stumpf, now CEO and chairman of Wells Fargo, have risen to the top of their professions.

Some people who don’t achieve all they had hoped to sometimes assign achievements of more successful people to luck. Lindbergh was often called “Lucky Lindy,” which diminished the fact that he captured the imagination of the nation and the world with his daring feat.

In the same way, some people will say one needs to be lucky to win a Nobel Prize. However, in the case of the Nobel, to even be considered means that one has achieved worldwide renown in one’s chosen profession. To use an analogy that Kobilka, the son of a baker, can appreciate, winning the Nobel is the frosting on the considerable cake of achievement that he has created throughout his research career. Morrison County takes great pride in whatever small role this area played in helping Kobilka to achieve his dreams.

By studying a group of receptors  on human cells, and how they adapt to change, his research is expected to help pharmaceutical companies develop safer and more effective drugs.

His achievement should tell every young person growing up in this area that dreams really can come true. You can become the best in whatever profession you choose. Where you live when growing up puts no limits on that. If you put any excuses aside,  study your chosen field as diligently as Kobilka has his, and stay focused, your personal talent and/or genius can change the world.

Thank you to Brian Kobilka for reminding us of the truth of that.