Biochemists Tomas Lindahl of Sweden and Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar of the United States won the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for their work on how cells repair damage to their DNA.

“It was a surprise. I know that over the years I have been considered for a prize, but so have hundreds of other people. I feel very lucky and proud to be selected,” Lindahl, 77, of Britain’s Francis Crick Institute, said in a phone call relayed by the Nobel team as a webcast.

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