Sir John E. Sulston, PhD

Sir John E. Sulston, PhD
Professor and Chair, Institute for Science, University of Manchester, England

Sir John E. Sulston, PhD | Class of 2013

An innovative molecular biologist and 2002 Nobel Laureate, Dr. Sulston pioneered research into programmed cell death. He was the first scientist to actually observe as the cells of a millimeter-long worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, divided and died. He played a central role in sequencing the genome of C. elegans, the first animal genome to be sequenced, and later in the UK’s portion of the Human Genome Project. This work was carried out at the Sanger Centre (now the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute), which Dr. Sulston co-founded and for which he served as director from 1992 to 2000.

Recently, Dr. Sulston’s time has been devoted to humanist causes. He examines the ways in which science is used in the 21st century, evaluates possible or desirable changes, and considers the forms of regulation and control of the process that are appropriate or desired. He has called for changes in patent law to assure that the genetic blueprint on which he worked remains publicly and freely available.

Career Highlights

2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
2002 Dan David Prize
2002 Robert Burns Humanitarian Award
2001 Knight Bachelor of the British Empire (New Year’s Honours)
2001 Prince of Asturias Award (Spain)
2001 The Edinburgh Medal
2000 Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins Medal
2000 George W. Beadle Medal
2000 Pfizer Prize for Innovative Science
1998 Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award
1996 Darwin Medal of the Royal Society
1991 Gairdner Foundation International Award
1986 Elected Fellow, Royal Society, London
1986 W. Alden Spencer Award
1966 PhD, University of Cambridge, UK