John GurdonThe Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, The Henry Wellcome Building of Cancer and Developmental Biology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK F1000 Faculty Member (since 02 March 2011)
Distinguished Group Leader and Emeritus Professor in the Zoology Department
After attending Eton College, Gurdon went up to Christ Church, Oxford, to study classics but switched to zoology. For his PhD he studied nuclear transplantation in the frog Xenopus with Michael Fischberg at Oxford, and then did postdoctoral work at Caltech.
• Fellow of the Royal Society (1971)
• Wolf Prize in Medicine (1989)
• Knighthood (1995)
• Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award (2009)
• Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012, held jointly with Shinya Yamanaka, for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent
Chromatin regulation in transcription and splicing, and cell polarity establishment and transduction.
We are trying to find ways of obtaining embryo cells from the cells of an adult. The eventual aim is to provide replacement cells of all kinds starting from usually obtainable cells of an adult individual. For example, we would like to be able to find a way of obtaining spare heart or brain cells from skin or blood cells. The important point is that the replacement cells need to be from the same individual, to avoid problems of rejection and hence of the need for immunosuppression. We are trying to identify the molecules and mechanisms by which eggs can reverse the process of specialization, so as to derive embryo cells from adult skin cells.
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