John E. Sulston

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John E. Sulston received his degree as a chemist at Cambridge, UK, but devoted his scientific life to biological research, especially in the field of molecular biology. After working in the USA for a while, he returned to Cambridge to work under Sydney Brenner at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

He played a central role in both the Caenorhabditis elegans (worm) and human genome sequencing projects. He had argued successfully for the sequencing of C. elegans to show that large-scale genome sequencing projects were feasible. As sequencing of the worm genome proceeded, the project to sequence the human genome began. At this point John was made director of the newly established Sanger Center (now the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute), located in Cambridgeshire, UK.

Following completion of the 'working draft' of the human genome sequence in 2000, John retired from his role as director at the Sanger Center. In 2002 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sydney Brenner and H. Robert Horvitz, both of whom he had collaborated with at the Cambridge Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB). One of Sulston's most important contributions during his research years at the LMB was to elucidate the precise order in which cells in C. elegans divide. In fact, he and his team succeeded in tracing the nematode's entire embryonic cell lineage. John is now a leading campaigner against the patenting of human genetic information.


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ms:John E. Sulston pl:John Sulston

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