Geneticist Oliver Smithies is a toolmaker. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2007 for discoveries that led to the development of knockout mice. Early-career scientist Diego Bohórquez uses mouse models to understand how our gut regulates appetite. He has wanted to meet Smithies ever since he moved from his native Ecuador to Duke University in the U.S. When the two met this summer at the annual Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting in Germany, they had an instant rapport and soon were sharing ideas about their research projects and talking about what makes a successful scientific collaboration.

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» Check out the latest issue of Nature Outlook, which examines the areas of biomedical science that challenge and inspire these pre-eminent investigators.